Farm Ireland

Monday 22 January 2018

‘We're lovin it’ - McDonald's praises the sustainabililty of Irish beef

McDonald's is the largest buyer of Irish beef.
McDonald's is the largest buyer of Irish beef.
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

‘Sustainable Irish beef programme is head and shoulders over what other countries are doing’

Irish beef and its sustainability is “head and shoulders above other countries” the Managing Direct of McDonalds Ireland has said.

McDonalds is the largest buyer of Irish beef, buying around 40,000t of Irish beef every year, and Adrian Crean, Managing Director with McDonalds Ireland, told the Irish Farmers Journal/AIB Navigating Global Trade conference that businesses and brands, such as McDonalds, make their business decisions based on long-term views.

“Brands and businesses have a long-term view and the sustainability that is going on in Ireland is head and shoulders above other countries and I have been an advocate of that within McDonalds. 

“There is a strong body of work being done over many years to deepen the level of knowledge that brands such as McDonalds have of the Irish food sector and why it is a bit different and why it stands apart.

“The work in Origin Green is a fantastic example of that. And we have tried bring our global leadership over to experience that for themselves as it deepens their level of understanding that what is going on in Ireland is very different to what is going on in other countries.”

The Department of Agriculture’s General Secretary Aidan O’Driscoll told the conference that Ireland can only prosper by trading successfully with the rest of the world and that Irish food exports can only compete if they are competitive on price, quality and food safety standards and in its sustainable production systems.

“All of those aspects are part of our competiveness,” he said. 

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“If there are tensions between the short-term costs of food safety standards and the long term benefits, there can only be one winter and we need to be very clear on this.”

Ireland’s reputation for quality and safe food was hard won, he said, and opening new markets took much time and technical effort, but was something that Ireland was very good at doing. He detailed how Ireland had opened five or six new markets every year for the past number of years - more than any other EU Member State.

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