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McDonalds Launches Flagship Farms Programme

by 5m Editor
19 June 2009, at 10:53am

EU - Fast food restaurant chain McDonald's Europe has launched a new Flagship Farms programme, designed to promote and share the benefits of sustainable agricultural practices via real case studies from real farms in our supply chain.

The intention is that demonstrating the benefits of these practices will encourage broader adoption across the European farming community. We believe this is essential for assuring future availability and affordability in Europe of the major farm products used in our menu.

Developed in conjunction with the Food Animal Initiative (FAI), the scheme will showcase the innovative farming practices used, initially at seven progressive farms across Europe via a brand new website.

The primary aim is to encourage more dialogue between the farmers who supply McDonald's and to encourage broader adoption across the farming community.

Flagship Farms builds on McDonald's Europe's already well established commitment to agriculture, namely the McDonald's Agricultural Assurance Programme (MAAP).

Established in 2001, MAAP drives continuous improvements throughout the McDonald's Europe supply chain by using existing farm assurance schemes to assess the standards of farms providing raw materials to McDonald's direct suppliers.

Each of McDonald's' Flagship Farms demonstrates a high level of compliance with MAAP, with impressive innovations in ethical, environmental or economic farming practices which in many cases exceed the criteria of MAAP.

One such farm is Farm Frites in Poland, which has demonstrated good environmental practices in a fast-developing rural economy through a number of innovative processes in a way that is locally relevant. It focuses on best practice in the areas of soil use, water use, energy use reduction and employee welfare. A wide array of technology has enabled Farm Frites to maximise yield and quality while ensuring that agrochemicals and fertilisers are only applied where needed.

Steve McIvor, Director of Food Business, Compassion in World Farming said: "The McDonald's Flagship Farm programme is an excellent new initiative highlighting outstanding examples of successful and sustainable producers. We were particularly impressed by the example of The Lakes Free Range Eggs Company.

"Their combination of high standards of hen welfare with positive impacts on their local environment and community, provide an inspiring and practical model for other businesses that seek to achieve profits with principles."

Karl Fitz, Chief Supply Chain Officer at McDonald's Europe said, "Across our European business, we are always mindful of the environmental impact of the demand for food and we always look for ways to improve the quality of the raw materials that we use.

"The ultimate goal of initiatives like Flagship Farms and MAAP is to assure supply, maintain price stability and respond to consumer demand for responsibly sourced, traceable produce - so that everyone benefits - our farmers and suppliers, our business, and our consumers."