Send us your pictures, video, news and views by texting DST to 80360 or email us
Fast food giant’s £1m tool to help farmers
FAST-FOOD chain McDonald’s will today announce a £1m scheme tohelpbeeffarmers reduce their carbon footprint and becomemorebusinessefficient.
It includes a “What If?” tool to measure the carbon emissions produced per kilo of beef and compare their score againstthe top performers.
Thefreetoolisavailabletoall beef farmers – not just those in McDonald’s supply chain – as part of its Farm Forward programme to create a long-term sustainable future for British and Irish farming.
More than17,500Britishand Irish farmers supply McDonald’s 1,200 UK restaurants which attract more than three million customers a day.
The What If? tool was createdbyTheE-CO2Project – independent environmental and carbon consultants – during a three-year study of more than 800 carbon assessments on morethan200commercialbeef farms inBritain and Ireland.
It found environmental performance is linked to business efficiency.
The tool, which is Carbon Trust certified, asks the farmer to input data including daily live-weight gains for cattle,feed use per animal,fertiliser usage, sale weights and calf mortality rates.
It instantly assesses current carbon emissions per kilo of beef produced, and benchmarks the farm against the top ten per cent of farms in their specific production system.
Different scenarios can be entered to see which changes will have the most impact on their carbon footprint which will in turn drive greater efficiencies in their business.
McDonald’s has invested £500,000 to better understand the greenhouse gas emissions ofthe industry.
It will invest a further £500,000 over the next three years to help beef farmers through McDonald’s SustainableBeef Clubs.
Farmers will be invited to share their knowledge and experiences at free networking sessions in return for free consultancyandaccess tothelatest research.
Warren Anderson, vice-president, supply chain, McDonald’s UK, said: “We’re thrilled that the data we’ve collected can now help all beef farmers benchmark their own performance and understand where they can make meaningful changes.
“As one of the biggest customers of British and Irish farming, we know that farmers are under pressure to reduce their environmental footprint and keep supplying quality produce.
“Developing simple digital tools and making them easily accessible will help farming to become more efficient and more sustainable, but we also believe it is important to help farmers understand and share the research and insight that sits behind them, which we will continue todo throughour Sustainable Beef Club programme over the nextthree years.”
Chris Mallon, director of the National Beef Association (NBA), said: “The What If? tool will help beef farmers across the UK produce high-quality beef, economically, while reducing greenhouse emissions and improving environmental performance.
“I’m delighted that McDonald’s is investing in digital tools like this for the benefit of the whole beef sector.”
Visit mcdonalds.eco2project.com to set up a profile.