McDonald’s invests to help farming’s next generation

FAST food giant McDonald’s is supporting the future of British farming with a £1 million investment aimed at existing young farmers and new entrants into the industry.

The global restaurant chain has launched the Farm Forward programme, created in collaboration with the National Farm Research Unit, Eblex and FAI Farms.

The programme, based on research from 500 farms, includes three projects aimed at helping people into farming and ensuring they can thrive once they are in the industry. They are:

  • A 12-month training programme for young farmers,with opportunities to work with food manufacturer McCain and food production companies OSI Food Solutions and Tulip.
  • A free carbon calculator aimed at helping farmers measure and understand how to achieve greater efficiencies and environmental performance on their farms.
  • Funding new research to encourage improvements in animal welfare standards by providing farmers with evidence and practical advice.

Brian Mullens, senior vice-president of supply chain at McDonald’s UK, said: “Supporting the next generation of farmers is vital if we are to secure the future of farming in this country.

“Our new work programme for young farmers is designed to help them develop the blend of skills and experience progressive, modern farmers want and need.”

Defra Secretary Caroline Spelman welcomed the scheme.

She said: “With the rising global demand for food, there are more opportunities than ever for British farmers.

“It goes hand-in-hand with all the work we in Government are doing to free up businesses to prosper by unwrapping them from red tape.”

There was also praise from Victoria Harris, director of The Prince’s Trust.

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