J.R. Simplot was hardly more than a teenager when he started the J.R. Simplot Company in 1929. What he lacked in experience, however, he made up for in things agricultural producers everywhere understand: work ethic, vision, and commitment to the land and the people who farm it. Today, the J.R. Simplot Company has grown into an international leader in potato processing and crop inputs because we hold true to those values. Our formula for growth is simple: we know one of the best ways for our company to be successful is to help farmers be successful.
Simplot’s roots in Canada run deep. J.R. built his first Canadian potato processing plant in 1962 in Carberry, Man. then followed three years later with his first Canadian fertilizer plant in Brandon. The idea of servicing producers from both the crop input and the processing side was a new concept back 60 years ago, and it’s a unique concept today: Simplot is still the only company that meets farmers’ needs on both sides of production, providing inputs and advice to maximize their yields, and an avenue for them to distribute their produce for processing and distribution. We think it’s what sets us apart: because we’re uniquely tied to both the production and processing sides of the value chain, we’re able to better understand and best meet producers’ needs.
When we built our processing plant in Portage la Prairie in 2003, we built it with the intention that, if potato producers showed us support and worldwide demand stayed strong, we’d expand. Barely 15 years later, expand we did, more than doubling our processing capacity at that plant. We’re not done yet. Though we’re already near full production at the expanded plant, there remains opportunity to add lines to expand production further.
After that? The short answer is that we are committed to growing into the future with Canadian producers, and we see much more opportunity ahead. As cultures around the world share more and more of their ideas and their food, an increasing number of people from around the globe will discover what so many of us in North America already know: that frozen potato products – especially french fries – are a delicious option. Together with Canada’s potato farmers, we plan to meet that growing demand.
We’ve also grown significantly on our fertilizer side, increasing fertilizer distribution capacity across Canada. In 2019, we added both dry and liquid capacity at our Chin, Alta. distribution hub, increasing storage and handling capacity to 55,000 metric tons of dry and 5,000 metric tons of liquid phosphate. We also added distribution points in Cardston and Pincher Creek.
We’re also expanding our services for growers, offering solutions on everything from varied crop inputs to digital agronomy.
Our growth is only possible because of the local, provincial and federal governments’ overarching commitment to Canadian agriculture, and – most importantly – the support of potato farmers across the country. Enormous thanks to the farming families who have partnered with us over the past 100 years. Let’s see what we can do together over the next 100!
Probing for Rain to Make More Informed Irrigation Choices
Fry Plant Expansion Up and Running