Farming News - McDonald’s UK invests £3/4m to support British dairy & Arla farmers

McDonald’s UK invests £3/4m to support British dairy & Arla farmers

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McDonald’s UK has invested three quarters of a million pounds to support British dairy farms, most recently awarding thirty three of Arla’s UK farmer owners more than a quarter of a million pounds (£273,243) in the latest round of its capital grant scheme. The scheme, which was launched in March 2018, is part of Farm Forward, McDonald’s long-term programme of support for the UK farming industry, and aims to support the future of the British dairy industry and fund applications that are focused on raising animal welfare standards, providing economic benefit to the farmers business or making environmental improvements.

Alice Willett, Agriculture Consultant, Sustainable Sourcing, McDonald’s UK & Ireland comments, “We’re constantly impressed with how ambitious Arla farmers are in driving forward standards. Whilst Arla supplies organic milk to McDonald’s, we recognise that as a supplier working with a farmer owned co-operative we have an opportunity to help the wider group farmers continually invest in their businesses and this scheme is a reflection of that.”

The successful applicants received grants to support investment in facilities such as weighing machines,footbaths,remote sensing,young stock housing,milking parlours,bedding dispensers and many more.

Graham Wilkinson, Agriculture Director at Arla Foods UK comments, “The support from McDonald’s for Arla’s farmer owners is testament to its overall commitment to working with the farming community. In making funding available to our farmer owners in key areas such as animal welfare, economic benefit and environmental improvements, it shows that a collaborative supply chain drives forward industry leading standards for UK Dairy farming and I’m very proud that Arla’s farmer owners are leading the way on this.”

McDonald’s UK has also recognised this collaboration between Arla’s farmers and its own operations in awarding Arla Foods its UK Sustainable Supplier of the Year 2018 award.

As well as the on farm initiatives, best practice workshops, grants and support for Open Farm Sunday, Arla Foods UK and McDonald’s UK & Ireland have worked with ABP Food Group’s renewables division Olleco, to reduce the environmental impact of food production. In the circular economy model created by the three companies working together, food waste from McDonald’s stores is converted through Olleco’s anaerobic digester into energy to power Arla’s Aylesbury site, which in turn then produces Organic milk for McDonald’s. (see video explanation)

Arla farmer Mark Hornbuckle who runs an 460 cow organic farm in Nottinghamshire comments, “As an organic farmer I’m very proud that we supply McDonald’s and that this partnership goes beyond the price of milk to investing and working together for a sustainable future for dairy. I was delighted to receive £8,010 in the latest grant allocations and will be using this to invest in my ventilation systems and in additional calf jackets this winter, plus some rubber matting and water troughs. However, as an owner of Arla, I’m delighted that McDonald’s works with us not just on farm but to support our production sites. I have no doubt that the future of farming relies on the whole supply chain continuing to work together in ways demonstrated by companies like McDonald’s”.