McDonald’s launches major beef study

Burger giant McDonald’s has launched a nationwide study involving UK farms to find new methods of producing beef that cut greenhouse emissions.

The three-year project will see McDonald’s trial new feeding and farming techniques at 350 beef farms across the UK and Ireland, working alongside consultant E-CO2 Project, the company has announced.

McDonald’s UK chief executive Steve Easterbrook said: “We have been working successfully for some time now to reduce carbon emissions in many areas of our business.

“We are very excited by the development of this ground-breaking project, which we are piloting in the UK and which will help drive further reductions in our beef supply chain. At the same time, it should also deliver real financial benefits to the farmer.”

Data will be collated by the E-CO2 Project, with methane emission levels over the three years published in stages. The first set of results are expected to be released in April.

McDonald’s is one of the largest purchasers of British beef, using meat from 350,000 cattle each year for its burgers.

Peter Darlington, E-CO2 Project director, added: “We think we can bring about significant reductions by harnessing the efficiencies of dairy beef, by improving existing suckler cow farming techniques and practices, and by generating further supply chain efficiencies.

“Our advice will help farmers do this by improving their existing farming methods. Relatively small changes can result in carbon savings on beef farms.”

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