Thursday, 8 January, 1998

By FWi staff

FAST FOOD giant McDonalds plans to buy an extra £11 million-worth of UK beef this year as part of its ongoing expansion war against rivals Burger King.

McDonalds aims to open 200 new restaurants in the UK before the year 2000. But although it currently spends £58m on beef every year, only half the quantity comes from UK farmers.

That will all change over the next two months, claimed McDonalds director of communications, Mike Love.

McDonalds aims to scale down purchases of imported beef and switch instead to domestic sources. UK producers could soon account for 70% of all McDonalds beef purchases, said Mr Love.

“At the moment theres more British beef available that meets our specifications than there is from Europe,” he said.

An NFU spokesman welcomed the move.

Rival company, Burger King, also has its heart set on expansion this year. It plans to open 55 new restaurants and will continue to source more than 80% of its beef from UK farmers.

Both McDonalds and Burger King have been using farm assured British beef in their hamburgers since last summer.

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