THE restaurant chain McDonald’s spends over €145 million a year in purchasing beef, dairy and egg products in Ireland.
It revealed the figures as it prepared to launch its Planting campaign to increase the awareness of the high-quality ingredients it sources in Ireland for the preparation of its food.
McDonald’s buys more than €80m of beef annually from 7,000 Irish farms for its European markets.
It also purchases cheese and milk products valued at €65m, as well as more than one million free range eggs in Monaghan.
Beef farmer Ray Dempsey, Ballinlough, Co Offaly, was recently selected as one of only seven flagship farms announced by McDonald’s Europe.
Clare Sheridan, head of supply chain and quality assurance, McDonald’s Ireland, said the Dempsey farm was recognised for the standards of animal welfare and environmental management achieved in its beef production.
“In addition to a commitment to the highest standards of food safety and quality for the supply of ingredients, we at McDonald’s are also sourcing suppliers who use sustainable agricultural practices which can be replicated by other farmers.
“The Dempsey farm for example, helps to preserve the natural habitat by planting one hectare of “Linnet” (Land Invested in Nature, Natural Eco Tillage), leaving it in a completely natural state without chemicals or fertilisers,” she said.
McDonald’s in Ireland owns and operates 78 stores, serving 150,000 customers daily.
It directly employs more than 3,500 people in Ireland and supports a network of over 250 businesses supplying goods and services to its restaurants.
The company has undertaken 14 refurbishments this year, spending an average of €300,000-€400,000 per store. It also plans a further 14 refurbishments next year along with new store openings.
In 2007, the raw material coming from Ireland represented the second most important source of beef for McDonald’s Europe – it accounted for 18% by volume, just behind beef of German origin at 23%.
McDonald’s Ireland managing director, John Atherton, said the company is aware customers are looking for value and quality.
“We are happy to assure them of the quality of the ingredients we use to produce our food.
“The Planting campaign presents an opportunity to let our customers know we are committed to working with the very best Irish suppliers,” he said.
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