McDonald's claims commitment to supplier relationships

Fast-food chain McDonald's is committed to developing long-term relationships with growers, McDonald's UK chief executive Steve Easterbrook has revealed.

Easterbrook, speaking on "new opportunities in the food-service sector" at last week's Oxford Farming Conference, told delegates that McDonald's is committed to developing long-term relationships with growers "rather than switching from one to another".

He said: "We are providing a reliable market for produce and a greater sense of shared risk, as already happens with potatoes."

He added that McDonald's UK has a turnover of £460m - with 70 per cent of the food it sells sourced within the UK from 17,500 British and Irish growers and farmers.

He used lettuce growing as an example of the relationship the fast-food giant has with local growers. Easterbrook said that, during the lettuce season, all the lettuce that tops the firm's burgers is grown in East Anglia, Shropshire and Sussex. In 2006, 4.8 million lettuce heads were grown on 121ha for consumption in the company's restaurants.

"We ask a great deal of our growers. In addition to UK and EU growing protocols, our suppliers are required to adhere to our own stringent standards, which in many cases go further than legislation."


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