McDonald’s Restaurants of Ireland, which employs over 200 people in the south-east, has announced that it grew its exports of Irish produce to €200 million in 2011, up €40 million since 2008. Farmers from Kilkenny including Paul Farrell from Gowran helped create the McDonald’s export success story in 2011, when the company grew its exports of Irish beef to €110 million, up from €80 million in 2008, with Ireland also supplying dairy produce and eggs to the McDonald’s system.
McDonald’s also announced that all of the beef used in McDonald’s restaurants, including one in Kilkenny city, is sourced from Bord Bia Quality Assured (QAS) Farms like Farrell’s d in Gowran. McDonald’s uses 40,000 tonnes of Irish beef every year, meaning that one in every five hamburgers sold across Europe is made from Irish beef. A new media campaign recognising the role of the 18,000 Bord Bia QAS Irish farmers who supply McDonald’s Europe is now running, featuring beef farmer Liam Delaney. The campaign highlights the important role of Irish farmers in the McDonald’s success story, including farmers based in Kilkenny. It is live in McDonald’s Irish restaurants and across all media, featuring the use of the Bord Bia Certified member mark for beef.
Former Leinster senior rugby star, Chris Pim, the McDonald’s Kilkenny operator said the use of the Bord Bia Certified Member mark was a ringing endorsement of the quality and provenance of McDonald’s beef and the growing use of locally sourced Irish beef and other Irish sourced produce including eggs and dairy products. “Increased emphasis on locally sourced ingredients is a key element of McDonald’s evolving strategy, and the contribution of Kilkenny farms is a vital element of this. We are very committed to supporting Irish agriculture and we believe that Irish beef is the best in the world. We hope to help grow the McDonald’s export market for Irish produce even more significantly in 2012 and to play an even bigger role in bringing quality Irish beef, dairy produce and eggs to our international markets. Kilkenny farmers will continue to be the beneficiaries of this plan,” he said.