McDonald’s unveils supply chain support programme

McDonald’s has announced a £1m investment programme to bolster its British and Irish meat supply chains.

The Fast Forward programme has been created in collaboration with farming representatives and agricultural experts, including the National Farm Research Unit, Eblex and FAI Farms.

McDonald’s commissioned a survey of 500 farmers to inform the priorities of the programme, which will launch with three projects. These include a 12-month training scheme for agricultural students, developed in partnership with leading agricultural colleges and some of McDonald’s biggest suppliers, including food manufacturer McCain and food production companies OSI Food Solutions and Tulip.  

A free carbon calculator to help livestock farmers improve environmental performance and funding for new research into animal welfare, with the aim of providing practical guidance for farmers, comprise the other projects.

Brian Mullens, senior vice-president, supply chain, McDonald’s UK, said: “We know the farming industry faces some challenging issues and, as a big customer of British and Irish farming, we want to do more to support the industry. Farm Forward is our commitment to help ensure the sustainable future of British and Irish farming.”

Richard Phelps, managing director of McDonald's supplier Blade farming added: “McDonald’s support has been invaluable to us in encouraging the use of dairy bull calves in the beef supply chain....We’re excited about working with McDonald’s to help nurture the next generation of British and Irish farmers  and promote further innovation within our sector through Farm Forward.”

The scheme has been welcomed by the government. Caroline Spelman MP, Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said: “With rising global demand for food, there are more opportunities than ever for British farmers and it is vital they are fully equipped to make the most of them in a sustainable way.

"I applaud the support Farm Forward is offering students interested in becoming farmers and the contribution this will make to securing the future of the farming industry. It goes hand in hand with all the work we in government are doing to free-up business to prosper by unwrapping them from red tape.”


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