Tributes paid to ‘visionary’ McCain founder

TRIBUTES have been paid to the co-founder of the McCain Foods empire, Wallace McCain, who died on Friday, aged 81.

The billionaire Canadian frozen food mogul and philanthropist died in Toronto after losing a 14-month battle with cancer.

Mr McCain founded the global company, whose British base is in Scarborough, with his brother Harrison in 1956. It now operates in 44 countries and is the world’s biggest producer of frozen chips.

Bill Bartlett, UK corporate affairs director, said Mr McCain had been a regular visitor to Scarborough during his time at the helm and he met him on several occasions.

He described him as “an inspirational leader”, adding: “He’s a great loss to the company, but he does leave a fantastic legacy.”

Dale Morrison, president and CEO of McCain Foods Ltd, said Mr McCain was “a visionary, a philanthropist and an icon of Canadian business”.

Mr McCain quit the company in 1994 following a family feud and went on to become chairman of the Canadian food empire Maple Leaf Foods Inc.

Harrison McCain, who remained in control of the McCain empire, died in 2004 and was succeeded by his nephew Allison McCain, who was based in Scarborough for 16 years as the UK company’s production director.