UK and Ireland – Fast food chain McDonalds has released a new carbon efficiency tool in a bid to improve farm performance for all beef producers.
In a first for the industry, the ‘What if?’ tool, out today, gives farmers the ability to measure carbon emissions against beef output per kilo and benchmark their score against the top ten per cent of farms in their sector.
A result of £1 million of investment, the launch comes after a research partnership with the E-CO2 Project, a farm carbon assessor and environmental consultant, part of a long-term McDonalds programme Farm Forward.
The research involved a three year study collecting 800 carbon assessments on over 200 holdings in Great Britain and Southern Ireland resulting in what the E-CO2 Project has called a carbon tool ‘to reduce emissions and improve profitability’.
David Heath, Minister of State for Agriculture and Food stated the importance of reducing the carbon footprint of food supply chains.
“I am pleased to see more and more businesses taking action to assess and reduce the carbon impacts along their supply chains.
“It is important that our farmers and food producers embrace new and innovative methods like the ‘What If?’ tool if they are to increase their competitiveness, grow their businesses, and protect the environment for the future,” added Mr Heath.
The ‘What if?’ tool requires farmers to input weight gain, feed usage, fertiliser, sale weight and calf mortality rates to give an overall carbon usage and efficiency calculation.
McDonalds has reassured the tool displays information clearly and is simple to use.
"The tool will help beef farmers across the UK produce high quality beef, economically, while reducing greenhouse emissions and improving environmental performance,” said Chris Mallon, Director, National Beef Association. “I'm delighted that McDonald's is investing in digital tools like this for the benefit of the whole beef sector."
The programme also boasts a hypothetical emissions calculation feature. This, McDonalds has said, will give farmers an insight into the effects that changes can bring on farm business profitability and emissions.
To get things started, farmers are being urged to visit http://mcdonalds.eco2project.com to set up their profile.
TheCattleSite News Desk