McDonald’s and FAI win sustainable farming award

McDonald’s and FAI win sustainable farming award

Compassion in World Farming has awarded its Sustainable Food and Farming Award to McDonald’s UK & Ireland and FAI for their regenerative beef project.

The programme, which has been running on FAI’s farm, aims to determine how UK and Irish beef farms can be adapted to draw down more carbon than they emit, while also restoring soil quality, increasing biodiversity and improving farmer resilience.

Now in its second year, the four-year project aims to better understand the impacts, barriers and benefits of introducing a regenerative farming technique called Adaptive Multi-Paddock (AMP) grazing. 

This technique looks to mimic nature and the role ruminants play in healthy ecosystems. It involves each beef farm creating a bespoke grazing plan, which sees farmers apply a series of ecological principles, including ensuring there is no bare soil, maximising root depth by leaving grass to grow longer and using intensive grazing and long periods of rest to optimise animal impact on the land. Positive effects of AMP grazing are reportedly already being seen on FAI’s farm.

The partnership aims to help farmers tackle biodiversity loss and climate change. McDonald’s and FAI plan to use the learnings from this project to create training and support for beef producers in McDonald’s supply chain and beyond. A new learning platform for UK and Irish farmers looking to shift towards regenerative beef farming will go live in the autumn.

“A path towards a new climate future”

Harriet Wilson, agriculture and sustainable sourcing manager at McDonald’s UK & Ireland, said: “We are incredibly proud to have won this award for our work on this ground-breaking project, alongside our brilliant partners FAI. The project presents a real opportunity to explore the ways in which we can futureproof the industry and drive more resilient production, to ensure our future beef supply contributes to a sustainable food system where people, local communities, animals and the planet can thrive. We can’t wait to see the impact this project could have on the UK beef industry.”

Clare Hill, director of regenerative agriculture at FAI, said: “Regenerative agriculture represents a path towards a new climate future. While there is a lot of interest around the potential for regenerative agriculture, I’m pleased that McDonald’s had the early insight to work with us to explore its possibilities.

“We are only into our second grazing season of the project and we are already starting to see the changes on the farm and are sharing the results with the wider supply chain. It’s fantastic to see that our work has been recognised by Compassion in World Farming with this award, and we can’t wait to share the findings with the industry. “

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