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McDonald's to launch 'quality scouts' scheme

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Posted on 13/05/2013 by Wayne Brophy FCILT

In a recent announcement, the world’s biggest fast food chain revealed that it will allow 'Quality Scouts' from the general public to assess the company’s procurement process. The initiative shows that McDonald’s is dedicated to making its supply chain more transparent, by allowing consumers firsthand access to information about where products come from.

With more than 30,000 restaurants in the world, 1,200 of which are located in the UK, McDonald’s is one of the most valuable international brands. The company is worth $99.95 billion (£65.08 billion), and employs around 85,000 people. Representing such a huge share of the fast food market, it’s no surprise that consumers are curious about the origin of their ‘happy meals’.

“Every day people ask us questions about our food and our ingredients, so we’re inviting members of the public to see for themselves what’s in some of our most popular products and follow the journey from farm to restaurant,” said vice president of McDonald’s UK’s supply chain, Warren Anderson. According to him, the chain has high quality standards in place and is extremely supportive of British and Irish farmers, two traits that matter to the average British consumer. Still, curiosity remains among consumers as to where exactly the meat is sourced.

In response, Mr Anderson said: “We’re looking forward to giving the Quality Scouts unique access behind the scenes, letting them uncover the facts and sharing their reports.”

McDonald’s is not the only company to be faced with growing customer concern about supply chains from start to finish and food processes. In fact, a survey conducted byPopulus showed that 81 per cent of people care about where their food comes from. Meat processing and general food production is important to more than half of consumers, as well.

To draw attention to their new Quality Scouts initiative, McDonald’s have recruited Phil Vickery. The former celebrity MasterChef winner was raised on a dairy farm, giving him some insight into food procurement. “I’ve always been very aware of where the food I eat has come from”, Mr Vickery said. “I’m excited to be leading the McDonald’s Quality Scouts on their mission to discover more about some of Britain’s best-loved products.” Once the programme launches, the rugby legend will lead members of the public as they go behind the scenes. Later this year, Quality Scouts will be asked to report on what they learned – findings will be compiled and published online for all to read, offering true transparency for McDonald’s supply chain.

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