McDonald's Restaurants of Ireland announced yesterday it had partnered with the Kerry Group to select an Irish milk producer for its Flagship Farm program - an initiative it developed to showcase "best in class" suppliers across Europe.
The Kerry Group supplies milk and cheese for use in McDonald's restaurants in France, Sweden, Norway, and the UK, through an existing partnership.
McDonald's exported €88m (US$116m) of Irish dairy products, including milk, cheese, and butter, in 2013 – up from €74m (US$98m) in 2012. It also purchased Irish dairy produce worth €4m in 2013 for consumption in its Irish restaurants.
Kerry Group supplier Eoghan McCarthy was chosen by McDonald's “because of the high quality milk that is produced from grazed grass" on his Milltown, County Kerry farm and his "overall approach to sustainable milk production.”
The farm's high animal welfare standards and its preservation of the surrounding natural environment were also praised.
Kerry Group CEO, Stan McCarthy, said the company was “proud” one of its suppliers had been selected.
The farm’s induction, McCarthy added, “exemplifies our sustainable grass-based dairy farming heritage and world leadership in high quality, sustainable dairy production.”
Also commenting, Simon Coveney, Irish Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine, said that by selected McCarthy's farm for the Flagship Farm initiative "McDonald’s is helping to enhance the already strong international reputation enjoyed by the Irish dairy sector in key European markets."
Adrian Crean, managing director, McDonald’s Ireland, also welcomed the addition of an Irish dairy farm.
“This, combined with our increase in dairy export figures for 2013 demonstrates the appetite across Europe for quality, McDonald’s Irish sourced produce including cheese and milk," said Crean.
"Increased emphasis on locally sourced ingredients is a key element of McDonald’s evolving strategy and success. We are very committed to supporting Irish agriculture and we believe that Irish product is the best in the world.”