All sausage and bacon products on its menu will be from Freedom Food-approved farms, which must meet strict animal welfare standards set out by the RSPCA by providing bright, airy environments for pigs, bedded pens and plenty of space. McDonald’s will be the UK’s second largest buyer of Freedom Food pork.
A TV ad for McDonald’s breakfast menu, including bacon and sausage McMuffins, will air on Monday highlighting the new commitment. Press ads will also run from this week. The campaigns will be developed by Leo Burnett.
The move comes as the UK food industry is embroiled in the horse meat scandal after traces of horse DNA were found in several beef products on sale at supermarkets and restaurants in the UK. McDonald’s food was not affected by the scandal.
McDonald’s polled 2,000 consumers and found that animal welfare and traceability ranked amongst most important factors in food purchase decisions.
Nearly three quarters (73 per cent), say they prefer to buy food produced from farms with high standards of animal welfare.
It follows McDonald’s existing commitment to British and Irish beef, free range eggs and milk and is part of the food chain’s long-term programme Farm Forward, which launched last year to support the British farming industry.
Warren Anderson, vice president of supply chain, McDonald’s UK, says: “As a big customer of British and Irish farming, we are committed to using our scale to drive positive changes such as improvements in welfare standards. Not only will our move to Freedom Food pork make it easier for people to make affordable, ethical choices on the high street, we hope that more of Britain’s pig producers will have the confidence to invest in the future and adopt the RSPCA’s higher-welfare standards on their farms.
“It’s clear that animal welfare is now an important factor for consumers, alongside provenance and traceability. By increasing our investment in Freedom Food ingredients, our customers can continue to enjoy food that is responsibly-sourced, tastes great and is helping to support British and Irish farmers too.”
McDonald’s sources 100 per cent of its beef from British and Irish farms, 100 per cent of its milk is source is sourced from Britain and all milk in coffee, porridge and Happy Meal drinks is from organic UK dairies.