McDonald’s remains committed to the beef industry in Northern Ireland

Crowds gather for the  annual  Balmoral Show, located on the former Maze prison site near Lisburn, Co Antrim,  which runs until Saturday. Tens of thousands of people are expected to attend the four day event, which in previous years lasted three days. Picture: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Crowds gather for the annual Balmoral Show, located on the former Maze prison site near Lisburn, Co Antrim, which runs until Saturday. Tens of thousands of people are expected to attend the four day event, which in previous years lasted three days. Picture: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
0
Have your say

McDonald’s is committing to doing even greater levels of business with beef producers in Northern Ireland, according to the company’s UK Supply Chain Director Connor McVeigh.

Commenting on the recent decision taken by the Co-op supermarket chain to stock only fresh meat produced in the UK, he said: “McDonald’s has had a long standing supply arrangement with beef farmers in the UK and Ireland. This is not about to change.

McDonald’s has had a long standing supply arrangement with beef farmers in the UK and Ireland. This is not about to change.

Connor McVeigh, McDonald’s UK Supply Chain Director

“In fact, we envisage significant growth being achieved within the business over the coming years. And this will specifically benefit beef farmers in Northern Ireland.

“We have seen 11 years of like-for-like growth within the McDonald’s business here in the UK. And this momentum should be maintained during the period ahead.”

McVeigh was speaking on day one of this year’s Balmoral Show. He said that the uncertainty caused by Brexit is a key challenge facing the beef sector at the present time.

“Obviously, it is an issue that we are following closely. But we are keeping all our options open until we get a better idea of what will be in the final package worked out between London and Brussels.

“Our view is that it is far too early to speculate on what is coming down the track. However, we have close contacts with DEFRA in London and will communicate our views to policy makers, as appropriate.”

McVeigh admitted that, post Brexit, the UK could do trade deals with a number of countries which could lead to cheap beef coming on to the British market.

“Yes, being cost competitive is important. But our customers have expressed no wish to have our beef sourcing policies changed.”

McVeigh said that McDonald’s is aware of the continuing debate on the pros and cons of lifetime quality assurance within the beef sector.

“But this is not a priority for the business at this time,” he said.