McDonalds has committed to doing even greater levels of business with beef producers throughout the UK and Ireland, according to the company’s UK Supply Chain Director Connor McVeigh.

Commenting on the recent decision taken by the Co-op supermarket chain to stock only fresh meat produced in the UK, he said:

McDonalds has had a long standing supply arrangement with beef farmers in the UK and Ireland. This is not about to change.

“In fact, we envisage significant growth being achieved within the business over the coming years. And this will benefit both Irish and British beef farmers.

“We have seen 11 years of like-for-like growth within the McDonalds business here in the UK. And this momentum should be maintained during the period ahead.”

McVeigh said that the uncertainty caused by Brexit is a key challenge facing both the Irish and UK beef sectors at the present time.

“Obviously, it is an issue that we are following closely. But we are keeping all our options open until we get a better idea of what will be in the final package worked out between London and Brussels.

“Our view is that it is far too early to speculate on what is coming down the track. However, we have close contacts with DEFRA in London and will communicate our views to policy makers, as appropriate.”

McVeigh admitted that, post Brexit, the UK could do trade deals with a number of countries, which could lead to cheap beef coming onto the British market.

“Yes, being cost competitive is important. But our customers have expressed no wish to have our beef sourcing policies changed.”

McVeigh said that McDonalds is aware of the continuing debate on the pros and cons of life-time quality assurance within the beef sector.

“But this is not a priority for the business at this time,” he said.