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McDonald's to offer 100% British chicken in Olympic restaurants

19 March 2012 by
McDonald's to offer 100% British chicken in Olympic restaurants

The Green Party has claimed it helped to sway McDonald's into serving only British chicken in its four restaurants at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Green Mayoral candidate Jenny Jones said she had pressured McDonald's into increasing its domestic chicken supply at the sites from 10% to 90%, although McDonald's later indicated that it would be using 100% British chicken.

The Greens claimed the company had planned to import most of their chicken from overseas countries like Brazil and Thailand. Jones said: "This is a real success for British farmers and the people of London. However, British Red Tractor was the absolute basic sourcing standard for Games chicken anyway, and in my opinion, well short of the Games' aspirations of high animal welfare standards.

"McDonalds should now go much further and stop using intensively reared chicken from broiler sheds where a chicken may only have the equivalent space of an A4 piece of paper. It's time for McDonalds to do the right thing and switch to Free Range or RSPCA Freedom Food assured, British-reared chicken as their minimum welfare sourcing standard."

In a statement, McDonald's said: "We have taken the decision to only serve British chicken in our four restaurants at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. This will come from our existing UK supply and is possible because of the recent increase in volumes of British chicken breast meat that we have been purchasing. The only meat that we use in our chicken products is chicken breast meat. To ensure the consistency in quality, standards and affordability that our customers expect from us we currently purchase chicken breast meat from the UK and a number of other countries.

"Recent comments made on this topic have, in our opinion, created some confusion in the minds of our customers about our commitment to British farming and to the Games. We are a proud partner of the London 2012 Games and have been a good customer of British farming for decades. We spend over £300 million each year on our UK supply chain, purchasing from thousands of farmers across a wide range of categories from beef to free range eggs."

By Neil Gerrard

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