The first big focus would have to be cultivating the appropriate variety of potato where other suppliers had failed. McCain learned that cultivating potato seeds in high elevations was ideal because seeds grown at high altitude had high vigor, enabling a commercial crop planted with those seeds to have higher yield and larger-sized potatoes. Second, farmers would need to grow the potatoes in a suitable, more accessible location than the Himalayas. At the same tune, McCain had to test its production capabilities in India. Vista Foods, which supplied McDonald’ s with patties, puffs and pies, had some excess capacity in India, McDonald’s helped McCain get access to this excess capacity without a huge investment for McCain had to bring in equipment to produce potato wedges and patties, while the rest of the infrastructure was provided by Vista Foods. This gave McCain enough potato product volume to build up some business with local farmers. With the patty supplier Vista’s excess capacity was utilized, McCain was able to test the Indian market with small-scale production, and McDonald’s had found a route to developing a local supply of french fries. Knowing that they would have McDonald’s commitment to buy fries, McCain then decided to build a $25 million (Canadian) manufacturing facility dedicated to processing french fries. The plant had the capacity to process 40,000 potatoes. Once they were processed, fries were frozen and sent to thirdparty logistics storage facilities or to McDonald’s distribution centers. From there, they were shipped to restaurants.
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