McDonalds has teamed up with frozen potato firm McCain and launched a “Sustainable MacFries Fund’ to help boost the resilience and sustainability of the British potato sector.
Together the two organisations have pledged to provide £1million in grants to British potato growers to encourage the use of new techniques and technologies that will improve soil quality and optimise water management.
New infiltration systems to improve soil structure, irrigation scheduling technology and crop monitoring software for tablets and mobile phones can all be supported by the funding. The grant will also enable farmers to conduct their own research into soil and water usage.
A second initiative, with the Prince’s Countryside Fund, will involve a series of ‘Ready for Change’ workshops for farmers to “to help support the economic resilience of farming families”.
The announcement follows research by McDonalds and the charity which found that 71% of farmers want to make changes to their business over the next five years, but lack the confidence to do so. The research also showed that only one-in-three farmers have a business plan that reflects the loss of direct subsidies associated with Brexit.
McDonald’s head of sustainable and ethical sourcing, Nina Prichard said:
“We have a long heritage in supporting farmers as part of our ongoing commitment to continuously improving our supply chain. We couldn’t serve the food we’re famous for without the support and hard work of over 23,000 British and Irish farmers who supply us.
It’s for that reason that we’re committed to working in partnership with the British and Irish farming industry. These two new initiatives are an essential next step in that mission, helping both our suppliers and the industry look to tomorrow. The Sustainable MacFries Fund in partnership with McCain will provide much-needed funding to boost the resilience and sustainability of British potato growers, while the Ready for Change workshops will help livestock farmers face a fast-changing future.”