McDonald’s extends commitment to farming and agriculture with new McCain and Prince’s Countryside Fund partnerships

October 24, 2020

London, 24 September 2020: McDonald’s has today announced two new partnerships with its long-standing potato supplier McCain and charity The Prince’s Countryside Fund. Both partnerships are part of McDonald’s ongoing commitment to support both the future of farming and agriculture and work alongside its suppliers to introduce sustainable innovations.

Working alongside McDonald’s potato supplier, McCain, the launch of the Sustainable McFry Fund aims to increase the resilience of Britain’s potato supply base, by enabling growers to use new technology to improve the understanding of soil quality and optimise water management. Together, McDonald’s and McCain will provide £1 million in grants to British potato growers who produce the varieties that make McDonald’s Fries.

This partnership is a continuation of McDonald’s ongoing commitment to support its potato growers, having previously launched the McFry Academy with McCain in 2018 to give farmers the science and technology they need to support their businesses and to thrive in the future.

Helping family farms be ‘Ready for Change’

McDonald’s and The Prince’s Countryside Fund are also today announcing the ‘Ready for Change’ workshop – the next milestone in a three-year partnership to help support the economic resilience of farming families. This comes after McDonald’s support helped the Fund to deliver its much needed Rural Response Emergency Grants to farming and rural communities, navigating the challenges related to the Coronavirus.

The ‘Ready for Change’ workshop will support livestock farmers in making informed decisions about change management on family farms. It follows research by McDonald’s and the Fund, which found that 71% of farmers want to make changes to their business over the next five years, but lack the confidence to do so. And with only a third of farmers having a business plan in place that reflects the coming loss of direct subsidies and introduction of environmental schemes, the Ready for Change workshops will help farmers through the transition.

These two new initiatives are the latest step in McDonald’s commitment to supporting the agricultural industry and using its scale for good. Other initiatives include Farm Forward, an agricultural programme to improve skills, animal welfare and environmental standards, decade-long support for FAI Farms research projects and a partnership supporting industry talent with the Progressive Young Farmers programme.

McDonald’s has also today launched a new campaign to highlight the ‘surprisingly local’ ingredients behind many of its menu favourites. The campaign celebrates the breadth and depth of McDonald’s supplier relationships, showcasing over 23,000 British and Irish farmers who provide the quality, local produce that helps make the food its customers love.

From today, customers can learn all about the local footprint of the McDonald’s menu through ‘Map my McDonald’s’, a new interactive tool plotting some of the local, fresh ingredients that can be found in their region, as well as some of the farmers that supply them.

Nina Prichard, Head of Sustainable and Ethical Sourcing at McDonald’s UK and Ireland said: “We have a long heritage in supporting farmers as part of our ongoing commitment to continuously improving our supply chain. We couldn’t serve the food we’re famous for without the support and hard work of over 23,000 British and Irish farmers who supply us.

“It’s for that reason that we’re committed to working with the agriculture industry. These two new initiatives are an essential next step in that mission, helping both our suppliers and the industry look to tomorrow. The Sustainable McFry Fund in partnership with McCain will provide much-needed funding to boost the resilience and sustainability of potato growers, while the Ready for Change workshop will help livestock farmers face a fast-changing future.

“I’m proud of McDonald’s long history in supporting the future of farming. We will continue to work with our farmers and suppliers to continually innovate, supporting both the future of their businesses and the sustainability of our supply chain.”

Keith Halstead, Executive Director of The Prince’s Countryside Fund said: “We’re proud to work with McDonald’s to provide vital assistance to farming communities through the Ready for Change workshop. At a time of great uncertainty and transformation in British agriculture, equipping farm businesses with the information and support they need to adapt and make sensible, informed decisions about their businesses is more vital than ever.”