Cargill and McDonald’s France partner with French poultry farmers
March 21, 2016
In recent years, an increased demand and decreased production of chicken in France has posed challenges for French poultry farmers in both domestic and international markets.
A recent three-year agreement between McDonald’s France, Cargill Foods France and the French poultry sector, however, aims to strengthen supplies of nationally sourced chicken for the production of McDonald’s France’s Chicken McNuggets.
McDonald’s France and its suppliers of products made from chicken – Cargill Foods France, Boscher Poultry, LDC Group, and Gaévol breeders in partnership with Sanders – signed a new partnership agreement on Feb. 23, 2016, in the presence of the French Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, Stéphane Le Foll.
By providing for a fixed purchase price for the chicken each year, the agreement will preserve prices from market fluctuations and provide producers, packers and processors with visibility, allowing them to plan for their production and investments.
Le Foll welcomed the agreement. “It is a further illustration of the interest of contracting approaches that bring visibility to farmers,” he said, adding that consumers benefit from quality guarantees.
Over the last four years, McDonald’s France has more than doubled its chicken meat supplies from French farms – and the share of French supplies is expected to reach almost two-thirds of the company’s total needs in 2016. The new agreement further strengthens McDonald’s France’s relationship with the French agricultural sector and is unprecedented in its scale, three-year duration, and 9,100 tons per year minimum – demonstrating the sector’s ability to recover and forge strategic industry partnerships.
“Our intention is to not only develop a quantitative but also a qualitative partnership with the French farmers,” said Nawfal Trabelsi, president of McDonald’s France. “[This] agreement constitutes a major commitment and provides farmers and the entire supply chain with a mutual visibility for several years,” he said.
Denis Lambert, president of LDC Group, called the agreement a significant investment for all players in the sector. “Together with McDonald’s and its partners, we have developed a project translating the trust we grew among ourselves, allowing us to confidently invest and build on innovative projects,” he said. “It demonstrates our ability to provide quality products and an environmentally responsible plan.”
Samia Martel, a senior key account manager for Cargill in continental Europe, credits the long-standing, solid relationships among the parties for making the agreement a reality. “When we built our factory in Orleans to manufacture McNuggets for McDonald’s restaurants more than 23 years ago, the breeders of Gaévol were already among our very first partners,” she said. “Cargill Food France is proud to be part of this agreement because it illustrates the importance of the sustainable relationships that have been at the origin of the entire sector dedicated to McDonald’s France.”
As a result of the concerted approach among these supply chain participants, the agreement allows fair distribution of value while adhering to the stringent specifications of McDonald’s, including 170 criteria for breeding, detailed requirements on animal welfare, and good environmental practices, The commitment also includes ending the use of antibiotics by the close of 2017.