Supplies to be Diverted to Supermarkets after McDonald’s Closures
Farmers’ representatives said the “huge surplus” of food supplies, including potatoes, caused by the closure of major restaurant chains like McDonald’s, will now be redirected to shops where consumers can buy it.
Concerns over the spread of coronavirus have forced the fast food giant to temporarily close all of its 1,270 restaurants – which sourced GBP600m of ingredients each year from 23,000 British and Irish farmers.
Andrew Blenkiron, estate director of the Euston Estate near Thetford and vice chairman of the Suffolk branch of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) said:
“Everyone is so integrated in this supply chain that they have the ability to easily redirect product from one customer to another. The people who process and pack for McDonald’s will also process and pack for supermarkets as well. So instead of mince beef for fast food burgers, it could be prime cuts for the supermarkets.”
Former Norfolk NFU Chairman Tony Bambridge, of Norfolk-based potato specialists B and C Farming, supplies McDonald’s via McCain processors – so he said his potatoes would now be made into oven chips rather than restaurant fries.
“All those meals that we bought through McDonald’s, those people are going to eat something else somewhere, probably in the home. McCain produces about 80% of McDonald’s French fries and hash browns, but out of the same factory they also produce oven chips.”