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McDonald's, Kerry pick Irish dairy farm

Monday, August 25 11:41:16

McDonald's Restaurants of Ireland today said it has partnered with Kerry Group to select a new dairy Flagship Farm.

The farm is in Milltown, Co Kerry and will be used to highlight best practice sustainable milk production within McDonald's global supply chain.

The dairy farm, which is farmed by Eoghan McCarthy, is the first dairy Flagship Farm to be selected by McDonald's for the Irish market and was chosen because of its best-in-class approach to sustainable primary milk production, while maintaining high animal welfare standards and improving the surrounding natural environment.

McDonald's also announced today that it grew its exports of Irish dairy products, which includes milk, cheese and butter to E88 million in 2013, up from E74 million in 2012. McDonald's purchased a total of E4 million worth of Irish dairy produce in 2013 for consumption in its restaurants on the island of Ireland.

McDonald's Flagship Farms initiative showcases best-in-class suppliers from all over Europe. Eoghan McCarthy's dairy farm was chosen to become a Flagship Farm, following a robust selection process, because of the high quality milk that is produced from grazed grass on the farm and the overall approach to sustainable milk production.

Other key reasons for its selection by McDonald's include the long grass growing season and low input system which are central to the farm's economic viability and sustainability credentials. There is also a keen focus on cow health and welfare with a comprehensive vaccination policy and good disease control measures which reduce animal health challenges. In addition, there is strong environmental stewardship with several initiatives being undertaken to help maintain and enhance local biodiversity.

Commenting on the announcement, Adrian Crean, Managing Director of McDonald's Ireland said, "We are delighted that Ireland has once again been chosen by McDonald's Europe as a location for a new Flagship Farm. Given Eoghan's contribution to best practice sustainability methods, he is an excellent addition to the McDonald's Flagship Farm programme. 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. 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 produce is the best in the world."

Stan McCarthy, Kerry Group Chief Executive, said "We are proud that Eoghan McCarthy's dairy farm is selected as McDonald's first dairy Flagship Farm in Ireland. The McCarthy family farm enterprise, a Certified "Origin Green" dairy farm, exemplifies our sustainable grass - based dairy farming heritage and world leadership in high quality, sustainable dairy production."

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