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Virtual Tours of Actual Supplier Farms to be Conducted by Mcdonald's

Virtual Tours of Actual Supplier Farms to be Conducted by Mcdonald's
A roadshow that uses virtual reality to bring people closer to the fast food chain’s supplier farms would be used by McDonald’s as a part of its tour of agricultural events around Britain.
Visitors would be able to drive a tractor and help harvest the potatoes for its fries as they would be invited by the company as the visitors will don headsets allowing them on to the virtual farms. With a virtual tour of supplier farms producing eggs, milk and beef for McDonald’s 1,250 UK restaurants, visitors can also go behind the scenes.
The roadshow was recently banned by Labour from its autumn party conference. The Labour’s move resulted in it loosing revenues of £30,000 and it has been deemed by critics as an evidence of “a snobby attitude”of its leader, Jeremy Corbyn.
McDonald’s however has been allowed by the Tories and SNP to set up similar stands at their conferences even though the company at the time had said it was disappointed by the Labour’s decision.
The roadshow which McDonald’s hopes will reach up to 1 million people at farming shows and other events across the UK over the next year, have enlisted technology developers, young farmers and experts from the leading agricultural university Harper Adams to create it.
The first stop for the “Follow our Foodsteps experience will be at the Balmoral show, in Northern Ireland, for three days next week, and will also visit the prestigious Royal Bath & West and Royal Highland shows in June.
 “As a nation, we have never been more focused on food. As one of the biggest customers of British and Irish farming, we want to lift the lid on the passion and skills that exist at every stage of the process, from farm to front-counter,” said Connor McVeigh, director of supply chain at McDonald’s UK.
Marked by a global day of action in April, when fast-food workers protested over pay and conditions in 40 countries, this initiative comes amid staff unrest at the chain. The bakers’ and food union BFAWU (Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union) is fighting for a £10 an hour minimum wage for all staff in the UK through its TUC-backed Fast Food Rights campaign.
McDonald’s wants to help its customers better understand its supply chain while challenging outdated stereotypes in farming and it is one of the biggest single customers of British and Irish farming – working with more than 17,500 farmers.
74% wanted to know more about where their food came from, but one in five could not explain any food production process, a YouGov poll of 2,000 consumers for the chain found. Despite national initiatives such as Open Farm Sunday, two in five (41%) had never been to a working farm.
The National Farmers’ Union has cautiously welcomed the initiative.
“This innovative approach to connecting consumers with food production sees McDonald’s UK build further on its efforts to demonstrate the vital role that farmers and growers play in its supply chain. However, we would like to see it improve its UK sourcing in some food sectors, particularly with chicken, where it is currently only 10%,” said its chief food adviser, Ruth Mason.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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