Potato growers supplying McDonald’s are set to benefit from the provision of free agronomy skills training to improve crop performance and quality with the launch of the MacFry Potato Academy.
The Academy is a joint initiative between NIAB and McDonald’s UK and Ireland, in association with potato suppliers McCain Foods and Lamb Weston.
In 2015 McDonald’s made a commitment to source 100 per cent British potatoes for all their UK fries. As the business sources in excess of 280,000 tonnes of British potatoes each year, the MacFry Potato Academy will be a key component in ensuring a vibrant and sustainable potato industry that can secure a growing volume of great quality ingredients, according to the company.
McDonald’s UK agriculture manager, Peter Garbutt said, “The MacFry Academy is part of our commitment to helping UK potato farmers to run thriving businesses and continue to supply high quality potatoes that make perfect MacFries for our restaurants.”
NIAB’s Steven Tompkins said, “Utilising our highly successful ARTIS training platform, we have designed a bespoke programme of technical training to equip the next generation of McDonald’s growers with the skills to grow the perfect potato for the production of McFries.
“Each stage of the crop’s management, from seed production through to nutrition, water management, farm safety and storage, is covered taking into account the key requirements for McDonald’s, such as long tuber length.”