Keeping it Local: Love for locally sourced food in Ireland increases during lockdown

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  • New research finds our appreciation for locally sourced food has increased since the introduction of Covid-19 restrictions in Ireland 
  • The vast majority said eggs (80%) and beef (76%) are the two ingredients that people most want restaurants to source from local suppliers.  
  • The research comes as McDonald’s today launches a new campaign to highlight the local ingredients that go into McDonald’s great value favourites – whether it’s the 100% Irish beef in McDonald’s burgers, the free-range eggs for McDonald’s breakfast, or our fresh Irish milk for our coffees and Happy Meals.  

September 24th 2020: Appreciation for our local area and locally sourced food has increased since the introduction of Covid-19 restrictions in Ireland. That’s according to new research published today, commissioned by McDonalds.

59% of respondents said their appreciation for their local area has increased since the start of the pandemic, while just 6% said they appreciate their local area less.   

The survey of 1,000 adults in Ireland also found that people now care more about where their food is sourced.  When eating at restaurants or getting a takeaway, 57% of people said they now have a greater appreciation for food that is sourced locally, with 54% of respondents reporting that they now care more about the quality of food in their meals. Eggs (80%) and beef (76%) are the two ingredients that people most want restaurants to source from local suppliers.  

The research comes as McDonald’s today launches a new campaign to highlight the local ingredients that go into McDonald’s great value favourites, sourced from over 7,000 farmers in Ireland – whether it’s the 100% Irish beef in McDonald’s burgers, the free-range eggs for McDonald’s breakfast, or our fresh Irish milk for our coffees and Happy Meals.  

 “Farmers and other food producers have played an essential part over the last six months in ensuring that supply chains continue to operate effectively, and I think that people have a renewed appreciation for the hard work they do day in and day out,” said Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD. “Clearly, the nation is hungry for homegrown food, which is no surprise given the high quality of ingredients that are produced by farmers and growers across Ireland. I am very pleased to see McDonald’s commitment to sourcing food from quality assured Irish suppliers.” 

Minister of State, Martin Heydon TD, who has responsibility for new market development, said: “Irish food has built a well-deserved reputation around the world in terms of the taste, quality and safety of our food offering.  It is good to see this reputation reflected in a business-like McDonald’s in Ireland, with its strong local credentials.” 

McDonald’s has significant long-term partnerships with suppliers in Ireland such as Kerry Group, Dawn Meats, Dew Valley Foods, and Greenfield Foods along with the thousands of farmers who provide the ingredients for meals that are enjoyed every day in 95 McDonald’s restaurants nationwide. In 2017, McDonald’s direct spend with Irish suppliers accounted for €53 million of revenue to the Irish economy. * 

“We are extremely proud of our large network of local Irish suppliers,” said Nina Prichard, Head of Sustainable and Ethical Sourcing at McDonald’s UK & Ireland. “We know that our customers expect a quality experience every time they order from us, which is why we work so hard to source the best quality local ingredients wherever we can. McDonald’s is one of the largest purchasers of Irish beef by volume, working with over 1,900 farmers in Ireland who supply beef to all McDonald’s restaurants nationwide. We have been working with many of these farmers for decades.  

As this research shows, now more than ever, people care about their local area and want locally sourced food and quality ingredients. That is why we are committed to continuing to support them and the overall future of Irish farming, working together with our farmers and suppliers to constantly improve and innovate. We are launching this campaign today to champion the Irish farmers who work tirelessly to deliver quality, local produce for our delicious menu, day in, day out,” she added.  

100% of the beef used in McDonald’s restaurants across Ireland comes from Irish farms, accredited by the Bord Bia Quality Assurance Scheme. All the eggs cracked for McDonald’s breakfast menu are free-range and McDonald’s has been using these for over 20 years. All the free-range eggs come from Irish farms that are Bord Bia quality approved. 

CEO of Bord Bia Tara McCarthy said, “We know that McDonald’s has long been a supporter of Quality Assured, sustainable ingredients from Irish suppliers. We are acutely aware that the past six months has been a hugely challenging time for all involved in the Irish food and drink industry, but we’re also aware that both restauranteurs and producers have displayed incredible resilience and flexibility in the face of adversity.  From a consumer point of view, reassurance regarding the provenance and quality of the food we eat and knowing there is a sustainable supply chain in place is increasingly important, not just when shopping, but also when eating out”. 

For more information visit www.mcdonalds.com  

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