McCain plant closure will not see Tasmanian expansion for Simplot

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 26th November 2009

Birds Eye and Edgell maker Simplot has squashed hopes that they will take on more vegetable contracts in the wake of McCain’s decision to close a vegetable processing plant in the state of Tasmania.

Simplot’s Managing Director Terry O’Brien told the ABC’s Country Hour that the company was committed to the southern state but had no plans to expand.

“Unfortunately the market isn’t driven by supply, the market’s driven by consumer demand,” he said. “The owners of that demand don’t change because someone shuts a factory.”

“So we won’t have the need for further volume, we’ll still keep selling the volume that we do today.”

McCain will be moving their processing operations (potato aside) to New Zealand from Smithton in north-west Tasmania, unless Tasmanian Premier David Bartlett can coerce a change of mind at a meeting with McCain executives in Melbourne tomorrow.