Claim: Japan McDonalds Reducing Food Portions because Climate Change

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

A bizarre story of Japan, potato farmers, and Canadian Agriculture Minister Marie Claude Bibeau, which disintegrates into a mess of lazy reporting, exaggerated claims, misdirection and government incompetence once you lift the hood on what is really happening.

Mustard, fries in short supply due to Canada’s climate change woes

McDonald’s has been forced to downsize its fries in Japan due to flooding in Canada brought on by climate change.

Published 25 December 2021 at 1:39pm Source: AFP – SBS

A mix of drought in Canada’s prairies and flooding on its Pacific coast have brought about crop production and shipping woes now leading to international shortages of fries and mustard.

In Japan, for example, McDonald’s has been forced to ration fries as the British Columbia floods squeezed potato imports, while mustard producers in France are forecasting steep price increases because the drought in another part of Canada – the world’s biggest producer of mustard grains – cut supplies.

When we look back at the state of the agriculture sector in 2021, we can say this year has been marked by extreme climate change weather events,” Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said in a recent speech.

“That includes the worst drought in 60 years in Western Canada and the devastating atmospheric rivers in British Columbia,” she told livestock farmers and ranchers who’ve struggled to secure enough hay to feed their animals as pastures dried up.

Read more: https://www.sbs.com.au/news/mustard-fries-in-short-supply-due-to-canada-s-climate-change-woes/40fab2fe-d266-4588-918d-d78eb3bcf527

Back in the real world there was no major drop in Canadian potato production – however the USA slapped a ban on potatoes from Prince Edward Island, because “potato wart” was detected in two fields on the island.

Trade cloud mars solid potato year

By Alex McCuaig
Reading Time: 2 minutesPublished: December 23, 2021 

It was a good year for Canada’s potato farmers in 2021 with seeded and harvested acres and yields reaching levels not seen for more than a decade, according to Statistics Canada estimates.

However, significant challenges remain with Prince Edward Island, the nation’s largest producer, dealing with an export ban while a tough weather year in the West might mean production will fall short of being able to meet an increase in processing capacity.

Nearly 390,000 acres were seeded primarily in the three largest potato growing provinces of P.E.I., Alberta and Manitoba with production up more than 18 percent from 2020 and yields increasing from 293 cwt. to 322 cwt. this year, said the StatCan data released this month.

Kevin MacIsaac, general manager of Potato Growers of Canada, said the initial indications of a good harvest this year proved to be accurate despite some areas where weather impacted producers in the western provinces.

Compared to 2020, which saw production dip, 2021 has turned into a rebound year for the growers, he said.

But challenges in the form of excessive heat on the Prairies this summer and a November federal ban on exports of P.E.I. spuds to the United States due to potato wart in two fields on the island could take a bite out of this year’s bottom line.

Read more: https://www.producer.com/news/trade-cloud-mars-solid-potato-year/

So if there is no big problem with production, what is going on?

McDonald’s rationing fries in Japan because of Canadian potato issue

Manisha Singh | Dec 23 2021, 4:51 am

Japan is experiencing a McDonald’s fry shortage, and there’s a Canadian connection to this problem.

Due to supply chain issues and BC flood damage, many potato shipments have not been able to get out of the port of Vancouver and have been significantly delayed.

Vancouver serves as a transit point for shipping services for McDonald’s Japan Co., hence the potatoes from North America left unable to get to the country.

“We import potatoes from North America on a large scale near the port of Vancouver, Canada, which is the transit point for shipping services. Import delays have occurred due to flood damage and the impact of the Corona disaster on the global distribution network,” the company said in a statement.

In light of the potato shortage, McDonald’s Japan has decided to sell their fries in a size small only and is offering a 50 yen discount at 2,900 restaurant locations nationwide.

Read more: https://dailyhive.com/vancouver/mcdonalds-japan-fry-shortage-vancouver

Hangon, North American imports, not Canadian? But imports via Vancouver? What about that company statement?

Temporary sales restrictions for “McDonald’s Potato ®” M and L sizes due to delays in importing potatoes from North America – Only S size will be sold at stores nationwide-

2021.12.21

At McDonald’s Japan Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, President and CEO: Tamotsu Hiiro), we import potatoes from North America on a large scale near the port of Vancouver, Canada, which is the transit point for shipping services. Import delays have occurred due to flood damage and the impact of the Corona disaster on the global distribution network.

While it is difficult to procure raw materials in a stable manner, we have cooperated with importers and suppliers to proactively take alternative measures such as arranging airmail, and have continued to provide “McDonald’s Potato”. From December 24th (Friday) to December 30th (Thursday), 2021 <planned>, “McDonald’s Potato” including set menu will be sold only in S size so that many customers will continue to enjoy it without interruption. I will do it.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience and inconvenience caused to our customers.

Source: https://www.mcdonalds.co.jp/company/news/2021/1221a/ (translated via Google Translate)

When I first read the SBS story, I thought OK, maybe Canada had a production shortfall, and Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau was just taking an opportunity to score points by blaming the carbon demon. But digging deeper, McDonalds Japan appear to be saying they don’t even use Canadian potatoes – they import American potatoes via Vancouver. The real issue is only that Vancouver is experiencing transportation problems.

My opinion, the climate claim is likely just cover for the utter incompetence of British Columbia transport authorities, whose inability to handle Covid and bad weather is in my opinion likely the root cause of the Vancouver shipping chain mess which is hurting US potato exporters, and probably a lot of other businesses as well.

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TonyG
December 26, 2021 10:07 am

the climate claim is likely just cover for the utter incompetence of British Columbia transport authorities

That’s what “climate change” is all about – covering up government incompetence in other areas. Then they don’t have to bother actually fixing anything.

Reply to  TonyG
December 26, 2021 10:17 am

Covering up government incompetence is unsustainable. The evidence is clear from recent polling about the current administrations job performance, or more accurately, its lack of job performance.

IanE
Reply to  co2isnotevil
December 26, 2021 10:31 am

Mind you, you should see the world-beating level of incompetence from Sturgeon and her SNP loons up in Scotland!

Mikeyj
Reply to  IanE
December 26, 2021 12:12 pm

Who’s got the dumbest leader contest? Joe Biden. enough said

Pillage Idiot
Reply to  Mikeyj
December 26, 2021 12:46 pm

Even if we got rid of Joe Biden and brought in his replacement, we would STILL have the dumbest leader!

ATheoK
Reply to  Pillage Idiot
December 26, 2021 3:26 pm

Even if we got rid of Joe Biden and brought in his replacement, we would STILL have the dumbest leader!”

That’s better than ending with this years Speaker of the House as POTUS.
Then we’d have the most evil world leader.

Reply to  Mikeyj
December 26, 2021 1:54 pm

Did you hear him echo ‘Yea, let’s go Brandon’ at the NORAD Santa tracking event? Don’t know what’s worse, that he doesn’t know what it means, or that he forgot.

gringojay
Reply to  Mikeyj
December 26, 2021 2:49 pm

Imagine – it’s easy if you try …

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Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  co2isnotevil
December 26, 2021 12:06 pm

Covering up government incompetence is unsustainable.

I’m not so sure. Government incompetence is an infinitely renewable resource…

DMacKenzie
Reply to  TonyG
December 26, 2021 8:39 pm

TonyG….You can’t really lay specific blame on BC transport authorities. Vancouver, shipping point of huge quantities of coal and agricultural produce with incoming containers of manufactured goods from the Orient, experienced three “atmospheric river” rainstorms since Nov.15, and heavy snows, that washed out most major highways with the result that ocean freight is still sitting off shore, and a number of major roads are still one lane in places, with major construction activities presently under way. It remains a national catastrophe for western Canada for which thousands of men and machines have been deployed to the lower BC mainland to effect repairs.

Add this to California’s rather goofy truck rules that reduce roadworthy trucks by half….with the result that North America has a significant supply chain problem.
The cause is climate change legislation in Cali, and in Van, failure to address runoff infrastructure problems that result from building parking lots every few hundred yards and doubling the population without addressing runoff problems in the older areas for 40 years….plus once in a century rainfall…

https://www.aqmd.gov/docs/default-source/ab-617-ab-134/steering-committees/wilmington/handouts-may9-2019.pdf?sfvrsn=8
The following is part of the aftermath of only the first storm….of course misdirected to Climate Change as a cause….
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/nov/17/pacific-north-west-flooding-british-columbia-washington-state-canada

Last edited 30 days ago by DMacKenzie
TonyG
Reply to  DMacKenzie
December 27, 2021 9:26 am

You can’t really lay specific blame on BC transport authorities

I’m not laying blame anywhere, merely pointing out the tendency of government authorities to use climate change as an excuse for their own screwups. The part about BC was a quote, so address the original author about that.

Reply to  TonyG
December 30, 2021 7:17 pm

No, see my post made just now – the main RRs from the east were broken by washouts and landslides. BNSF from the south kept running. CN secondary line from Prince George through Pemberton was halted as precautionary for a few days due washouts of nearby roads. (If gummints had not discriminated against JJ Hill over a century ago the BNSF would provide an alternative route from the east via a tunnel near Hope BC, though it may have been flooded in the Fraser Valley.)

Alan Robertson
December 26, 2021 10:08 am

“My opinion, the climate claim is likely just cover for the utter incompetence of British Columbia transport authorities…”

I’ll “See” your Canadian transport authorities and Raise you the Port of Los Angeles.

That’s to say nothing of the upcoming Biden vax mandate for interstate truckers, which is estimated will force over 35% of US drivers out of the business.
We ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

Last edited 30 days ago by Alan Robertson
Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Alan Robertson
December 26, 2021 1:55 pm

the upcoming Biden vax mandate for interstate truckers, which is estimated will force over 35% of US drivers out of the business.

It’s the same all over. This stupidity is being covered up by blaming it on Climate Change ™. The lack of medical staff caused by forcing the unvaccinated to lose their jobs is being blamed on a surge in covid cases.

Basically, problems caused by government mandates are being blamed on things that apparently require government mandates. The solutions to the problems caused by government are always more government.

Has anyone seen any government that reduced its control? I mean ever?

H.R.
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
December 26, 2021 3:17 pm

Yeah, it’s happened before. But French haircuts were involved.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  H.R.
December 27, 2021 12:17 am

But that wasn’t government pruning control, it was people pruning government. Quite literally, in fact…

Tom Halla
December 26, 2021 10:09 am

It probably has more to do with Covid lockdowns affecting shipping, unless climate change is blamed for causing Covid.
Given the chutzpah of the green blob, they probably would.

TonyG
Reply to  Tom Halla
December 26, 2021 10:36 am

I haven’t seen any causative claims but they’re certainly linking them https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2020/3/30/the-coronavirus-outbreak-is-part-of-the-climate-change-crisis/

Reply to  Tom Halla
December 30, 2021 7:19 pm

No, see my recent post – RR lines were broken.

December 26, 2021 10:58 am

McDonalds? That’s abused industrial food …

Sunsettommy(@sunsetmpoutlookcom)
Editor
December 26, 2021 11:14 am

Read the book The Marching Morons by Cyril Kornbluth, which is a Hall of Fame book for Science Fiction.

We are seeing unfold in real time the stupidity, the incompetence and the intolerance of people in management positions and in government.

LINK

gringojay
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 26, 2021 2:53 pm

We have the new year to see if life imitates art.

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menace
Reply to  Sunsettommy
December 26, 2021 9:24 pm

Idiocracy!

Thomas Gasloli
December 26, 2021 11:25 am

More likely the real issue is the inflation in the price of food. You can’t easily shrink the burger, but shorting the fries while selling them at the same price is an imperceptible change.

Bruce Cobb
December 26, 2021 11:31 am

Funny how the weather has morphed into “climate change”. Science is strange that way I guess. Make the rules up as you go. Must be nice.

Ron Long
December 26, 2021 11:53 am

Good report, Eric. It sure looks like “climate change” has taken over for “my dog ate my homework” as a handy excuse.

Andy Pattullo
December 26, 2021 11:54 am

A plugged toilet, painful hangnails, failure to find love on Tinder, bunions, annoying robocalls, any form of rust, overly complex Starbucks orders, fishing emails, myopia, erectile dysfunction, hyper sexuality, inconvenient timing of ….. well anything: These are all just signs of climate change and every time we breath out we make it a thousand times worse.

At least, that was the climateriat want us to think. But that is exactly what we should do – THINK. Think for ourselves, ask hard questions, insist on evidence, support debate and stop this freaking comedy show of pretend science and failed policy.

Vuk
December 26, 2021 12:28 pm

Over here in the UK, the climate change has caused shortage of common sense. Most ardent promoters of Caca verde policies are Liberal Democrats.
Their leader has gone ballistic:
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey warned energy bills will be the ‘worst possible gift’ this Christmas as the party found households will pay £100 million more this year.
The party’s analysis says that bills will rise by £104,141,465.75 in the seven days between Christmas Day and New Year, compared with the same period in 2020.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 26, 2021 3:27 pm

I’m with you
I live in calgary but have worked and travelled all across the north and I’d taking more warming in a heartbeat

Boxing Day
Predicting -35C overnight
Yay us, freezing to death except for coal and gas

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 26, 2021 9:17 pm

I worked a rig in northern AB in 1992, was -55c

With everything shut down it’s dead calm and quiet up there in the middle of an arctic high pressure, you can hear an icicle fall off a tree a km away

Beautiful

As long as there is no wind

John Hultquist
December 26, 2021 12:36 pm

 Exports to Japan were up 14%, but due to problems with shipping and tight U.S. supplies, restaurant chains in Japan are limiting fry sales and switching to products from Canada. “

U.S. potato exports continue to improve – Potatoes USA

  • –  increases were led by a 63% increase to Mexico,
  • –  increases of 28% to China and 176% to the Philippines


There seem to be issues beyond my quick search that I don’t understand.

DonK31
Reply to  John Hultquist
December 26, 2021 3:55 pm

My dumb guess would be the closure of the border between the US and Canada. Potatoes from Idaho, Oregon and Northern CA could not be transported over the border and therefore could not get to Vancouver to make it on the boat. Now that the border has reopened there should be a supply.

BCBill
Reply to  John Hultquist
December 26, 2021 6:46 pm

The highways and railroad which lead to Vancouer were blocked this fall by mud slides caused by a series of pineapple expresses (now referred to as atmospheric rivers as that sounds more scary) which has seriously hampered transport. The mudslides were initiated by a minor drought which decreased the ability of the soil to absorb the higher than normal precipitation which seasonally followed the drought. The weather events were exacerbated by decades of marginal logging practices (95% of slope failures in BC by are initiated by water diversion) and by several forest fires along major travel corridors followed by zero effort to mitigate the expected erosion from those fires. As many have pointed out here, including me, one major purpose of global warming is to serve as a scapegoat for poor practices. Of course the real purpose of the global warming response is to destabilise Western societies so that a Kleptocracy of the unscrupulous ultra powerful can assume complete control of our financial and government structures. I was confused by what is happening until I realised that the Kleptocrats are using Leninist revolutionary techniques to destroy the existing social structure. Techniques include control of the useful idiots in the media, erosion of moral codes, creating artificial groups and then pitting them against one another, financing and tolerating destructive fringe elements, creating a climate of fear, putting Nations into unmanageable debt by creating an irrational response to a minor epidemic, sowing disinformation so that the public doesn’t know what is going on and can’t organise, electing incompetents to high public office, etc. I was perplexed because socialist leaders are always too egomaniacal to play such a patient game. But this sort of manipulation is the bread and butter of George Soros, Bill Gates, Pfizer. You know their names.

Greg
Reply to  BCBill
December 27, 2021 3:28 pm

Wow, nailed it!

Joao Martins
December 26, 2021 12:38 pm

I shall stop paying my taxes, so some “climate scientist” please sdemonstrate to the government that it was because climate change!…

Dr. Mann , please, would you help me?

Last edited 30 days ago by Joao Martins
Izaak Walton
December 26, 2021 12:48 pm

I am not sure there is any contradiction here apart from the fact that Eric apparently can’t parse simple sentences. The story from SBS states:
In Japan, for example, McDonald’s has been forced to ration fries as the British Columbia floods squeezed potato imports,”

which does not imply a shortage of potatoes but only that exporting them was difficult. Compare that with Macdonalds’ statement:

 “we import potatoes from North America on a large scale near the port of Vancouver, Canada, which is the transit point for shipping services. Import delays have occurred due to flood damage…”

which is essentially the saying the same thing. And then to top if off Eric appears to be implying that Canada is not part of North America,
But digging deeper, McDonalds Japan appear to be saying they don’t even use Canadian potatoes – they import American potatoes via Vancouver.”

Surely North American potatoes includes Canadian potatoes and not just ones grown in the USA.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Izaak Walton
December 26, 2021 2:00 pm

A mix of drought in Canada’s prairies and flooding on its Pacific coast have brought about crop production and shipping woes now leading to international shortages of fries and mustard.

.

“When we look back at the state of the agriculture sector in 2021, we can say this year has been marked by extreme climate change weather events,” Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said

There are none so blind as those who will not see

Last edited 30 days ago by Zig Zag Wanderer
fretslider
December 26, 2021 12:49 pm

Canada Dry

Doonman
December 26, 2021 12:54 pm

McDonald’s has been forced to downsize its fries in Japan due to flooding in Canada brought on by climate change.

Climate is defined as 30 years of weather in a given location.

Therefore, the weather must have changed for 30 years in order for climate change to cause flooding.

One would think that the commodity market would have noticed that by now. McDonalds is obviously delinquent in updating its commodity supply chain unless they are now just running out of their 30 year old frozen french fry inventory.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Doonman
December 26, 2021 2:06 pm

That 30 years is completely made up, actually. Picking 30 years as a range when there is a clearly discernible ~60 year cycle is fraudulent.

John Hultquist
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
December 26, 2021 8:31 pm

The 30-year average was chosen just to provide a reference for reporting weather info, mostly in newspapers. It was picked in the mid-1930s. It was not a “climate” thing. I believe the decision was made during a meeting in Warsaw in 1935.

December 26, 2021 1:40 pm

Eric Worrall’s last two paragraphs are the most logical assessment of the Farago of nonsense in the original reports. You cannot overestimate the stupidity, incompetence, and venality of people in management and government.

Rich Lambert
December 26, 2021 2:16 pm

A June 2020 Business Insider article was decrying the destruction of millions of potatoes due to excess inventory.

Pat from kerbob
December 26, 2021 2:24 pm

So many misdirections in a single government statement, but otherwise you wouldn’t know it was from the government.

Yes we had a drought year here in the prairies, long overdue as drought is th normal condition else it would be called the great forest instead of Great Plains.

Likely moving into prolonged drought in conjunction with ocean cycles flipping.

Flooding in BC.
Yes, the was a record rainfall, but not by much
The real story is that the flood level produced was well below the 1896 and 1948 levels caused by record spring melt. So the real story here is that despite decades of reports about how flood infrastructure was inadequate which were ignored the government is now off the hook because climate change.

4 Eyes
December 26, 2021 2:29 pm

we can say this year has been marked by extreme climate change weather events,” Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said in a recent speech.
“That includes the worst drought in 60 years in Western Canada and….”

Here they go again. It looks like climate change (CAGW of course) happens every 60 years. And she is not sure if it is weather or climate. Idiotic buffoon.

Alex Cruickshank
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 26, 2021 2:52 pm

Canada is in North America. I don’t think any of the reports in this article said they were importing potatoes from the US.

michael hart
December 26, 2021 4:35 pm

Cry me a climate river. They’re talking about a bit of bad weather ruining a harvest.

JP Guthrie
December 26, 2021 7:22 pm

Really? I live in Japan, and the official news here was that supply chain disruptions were the cause of the potato shortage.

December 26, 2021 9:07 pm

The actual reason for Japan’s potato shortage is that US ports are the ONLY ports in industrialized countries that are unable to operate 24/7/365 because Port Unions refuse to hire 70,000+ non-Union longshoreman because it would force Union salary’s to be cut to make ports profitable.

The AVERAGE Unionized longshoreman’s salary is $171,000/year plus a $100,000/ year pension… If 70,000 non-union employees were hired to run ports 24/7, unionized labor salaries would have to be cut as non Union port workers make around $60,000/year with no pension..

In October, Longshoreman Unions “allowed” a few piers at a few ports to operate 24/7 as a test, but this was just to allow political hacks to say, “US ports are now open 24/7”, without providing details…

With the gigantic backlog at West Coast ports, shippers are trying to export out of Vancouver, which is open 24/7, but the increase in volume is now also causing delays at Vancouver port…

The huge backlog of ships off US ports is further causing a huge worldwide shortage vessels and empty containers, which is causing further shipping delays, and factory closings due to shortages of packaging materials and raw materials..

It’s a complete mess primarily caused unions refusing to hire staff required to provide 24/7 port services…not climate change…

Oh, and US West Coast ports are globally ranked in the 300’s in cargo processing efficiency because they don’t operate 24/7 like all other countries do…

Mike Dubrasich
Reply to  SAMURAI
December 27, 2021 6:55 pm

Major PNW export ports include Seattle, Tacoma, and Longview, all of which are closer than Vancouver BC to potato growers in WA, OR, and ID, where McD’s chosen varieties are grown: Blazer Russet, Clearwater Russet, Ranger Russet, Umatilla Russet, Russet Burbank and Shepody.

None of those ports have “climate” issues. Why McD’s ships out of Canada is beyond me. Their potatoes aren’t grown there. It could be union dock fees — no doubt money has something to do with it. That being said, WA state ports exported $17 billion in food and ag products in 2020, including $784 million of frozen french fries.

Tom in Florida
December 27, 2021 4:50 am

If there is one thing that would help the health of humans, it would be reduction in eating anything from McDonald’s.

very old white guy
December 27, 2021 6:08 am

Dare I suggest that increased costs and loss of profit is the main reason.

Giordano Milton
December 27, 2021 7:45 am

Are they also reducing the price? If not, this is just a gimmick to rise prices.

Last edited 29 days ago by Giordano Milton
December 30, 2021 7:03 pm

Actually, ..

  • potato fields in the Fraser Valley of BC were flooded, so that production was lost, which would affect supply in general
  • problem in shipping was not the Port of Vancouver BC but railroads to it which were were broken by water erosion and landslides (except the BNSF from Everett WA in the south kept running except perhaps for a brief period of flooding near Ferndale WA, I-5 was closed there for several hours). If potatos were coming from the US through Vancouver BC they should have been rerouted via BNSF though it would have to allocate capacity (pause coal coming from the Powder River Basin to an export dock on the Fraser River).

Climate Catastrophists blame the flooding and landslides on Globull Worming, meteorologist scientist Cliff Mass debunked that. The Sumas Prairie area of Abbotsford BC and nearby WA was flooded because dikes broke. They were not adequately built nor maintained, despite past disasters such as 1990.

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