McDonald’s invests £1m to back British farmers

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McDonald’s has launched a bid to back British and Irish farmers, with efforts to boost the number of young people in the industry and improve environmental and animal welfare standards.

In the first year of the scheme, the fast food chain will invest £1m in several projects, including a 12-month training placement programme for agricultural students spanning the supply chain from farm to restaurant.

In addition, more than 200 farmers will trial a free simple carbon calculator, developed to help livestock farmers measure their farms’ carbon emissions and take steps to reduce the environmental impact and make their businesses more efficient. Itwill then be made available to beef farmers across the UK and Ireland next year.

And the company will fund new research and innovation to encourage improvements in animal welfare, which can often boost the economic value of livestock and poultry for farmers.

The company said it was committed to British and Irish farming and McDonald’s now spends £320m a year buying ingredients from more than 17,500 British and Irish farmers, with 55 per cent of its food sourced from them.