McDonald’s puts €200m Irish produce on the menu

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Exports of Irish produce for use in McDonald’s restaurants throughout Europe increased by 25% in three years to €200m a year, the company disclosed yesterday.

McDonald’s Restaurants of Ireland said it grew its exports of Irish produce to €200m in 2011, up €40m since 2008. One in every five McDonald’s burgers sold in Europe is made from Irish beef.

“McDonald’s grew its exports of Irish beef to €110m in 2011, up from €80m in 2008, with Ireland also supplying dairy produce and eggs to the McDonald’s system,” the company said.

McDonald’s exports €110 in beef, €70m in cheese and €20m in other dairy products, including eggs and milk shake ingredients.

McDonald’s disclosed that all the beef used in McDonald’s restaurants in Ireland is sourced from Bord Bia Quality Assured Farms.

Managing director of McDonald’s Restaurants of Ireland, Adrian Crean, said: “McDonald’s uses 40,000 tonnes of Irish beef every year, meaning that one in every five hamburgers sold across Europe is made from Irish beef.

A new campaign recognising the role of the 18,000 Bord Bia Quality Assured Irish farmers who supply McDonald’s Europe will go live from Mar 7, featuring beef farmer Liam Delaney, from Co Laois. Liam farms 130 acres and supplies McDonald’s Ireland with beef through Dawn Meats.

Mr Crean said the use of the Bord Bia Certified Member mark is a ringing endorsement of the quality and provenance of McDonald’s beef and its growing use of locally sourced Irish beef and other Irish sourced produce, including eggs and dairy products.

“Increased emphasis on locally sourced ingredients is a key element of McDonald’s evolving strategy. We are very committed to supporting Irish agriculture and we believe that Irish beef is the best in the world. We hope to help grow the McDonald’s export market for Irish produce even more significantly in 2012 and to play an even bigger role in bringing quality Irish beef, dairy produce and eggs to our international markets,” he said.

IFA president John Bryan said the support of companies like McDonald’s was critical for the Irish agri-food sector as it offers an enormous opportunity to sell into a huge international supply chain.

“The export growth figures are testament to the fact that McDonald’s recognises that the quality and reliability of Irish agricultural produce is second to none. We are pleased and proud to work with companies like McDonald’s who champion the Irish agri-food sector so strongly,” he said.

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