H. Harrison McCain

H. Harrison McCain, executive (born 3 November 1927 in Florenceville, New Brunswick; died 19 March 2004 in Boston, Massachusetts). The son of an exporter of seed potatoes, McCain graduated from Acadia U and worked as a sales executive for Irving Oil Co. In 1957 he and his brother Wallace used their $100 000 inheritance from the family seed potato business at Florenceville, NB, to build the first frozen french-fry plant in eastern Canada. Facing stiff competition in the US market, they opened a food-processing plant in Britain, and acquisitions and other overseas expansion followed at a rapid pace.

Harrison is chairman of the board of McCain Foods Ltd, now one of the largest firms of its kind in the world. It is the parent company of the McCain Group, whose holdings include Thomas Equipment Ltd (which manufactures harvesting and industrial equipment), and a world leader in the production of french fries, juices, vegetables, pizza, and desserts. McCain Foods Ltd employs over 12 000 people in 11 countries and in 1998 had annual sales of over $5 billion. The company has operations in the US, Australia, Belgium, France, the UK, Germany, Japan, Colombia, Argentina, the Netherlands and Poland. Brothers Harrison and Wallace began protracted legal action against each other in 1993 over the succession of the family business. The legal action was unsuccessful for Wallace, and in 1994 he was ousted from the board; subsequently Wallace and his sons took control of Maple Leaf Foods. McCain Foods continued to expand in the late 1990s, including the purchase of Ore-Ida in 1997 for US $500 million. In 1992 Harrison was named Companion of the Order of Canada.