The Future of Farming

In order to make the food that we’re famous for, we rely on over 23,000 British and Irish farmers. We’re committed to both their futures and the future of the farming industry which is why we work closely with them, building relationships and investing in research which aims to change farming for the better.

Always Farm Forward

We created Farm Forward after consulting with over 1,500 farmers in the UK. It’s an agriculture programme with three big aims; developing skills and knowledge, raising animal welfare standards and making environmental improvements. By constantly talking to the farmers we work with, we make sure Farm Forward is always relevant and useful to them.

Progressive Young Farmers Programme

Every year we give up to nine young farmers the chance to spend 12 months getting to know every part of our supply chain, usually during their placement year. They follow our products from the farms we use, through to our restaurants and get the opportunity to work with a number of different suppliers, farmers and stakeholders around the country. The programme also includes mentoring by a farmer who supplies us with beef, chicken, potatoes, pork, dairy or eggs. Throughout the placement, Progressive Young Farmers will be expected to undertake specific projects to gain a better understanding of technical efficiency within the supply chain for five months, actively working on farm for a six-month period and spending a month at McDonald’s UK Head Office in London. The 2020 programme will focus on innovation and the future of the farming sector, including animal welfare, beef sustainability and efficient production, ensuring both commercial and environmental areas are addressed. Click here to apply.

Developing skills and knowledge

Our Progressive Young Farmers Programme aims to give young farmers a great start in their career. We also recognise our star suppliers with the Outstanding Farmer of the Year Award. It’s a thank you to the farmers making big steps to look after the people that work for them, the welfare of their animals and the environment.

mcdonald's young farmers 2019
mcdonald's young farmers 2019

Meet our outstanding farmers

We were the first major retailer to enter a partnership and develop our own scholarship with the Nuffield Farming Trust who offer travel scholarships. The McDonald’s Scholar enters an overseas programme that researches new techniques to help make farming more sustainable.

Raising Animal Welfare Standards

We know animal welfare is important to you. It’s also a big deal for us. As one of the biggest restaurant chains in the UK, we use our size to make a positive impact on the way animals are treated. We only deal with suppliers who meet our high standards. 

We only cook free-range RSPCA Assured eggs at breakfast. We also only use organic semi-skimmed milk from UK dairy farms for all our teas, coffees and Happy Meal® milk bottles.

Making environmental improvements

We’re always pushing ourselves to do even more. We’re a founding partner of FAI Farms, who create sustainable farming practices for the food industry. Every year we invest in a programme designed to improve the welfare of animals and the impact of farming on the environment. And that’s better for all of us.

We’re working to cut our carbon footprint

When it comes to McDonald’s, you think beef. We’re famous for our burgers. But we also want to be known for how sustainable our beef production is. That’s why we funded a £1 million study into carbon reduction on beef farms in the UK and Ireland. The farms involved every year saw their carbon emissions reduce by over 23% during the 6 year study. It’s just one of the ways we’re becoming more sustainable.

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