FOOD

McDonald's removes the lamb from Lambton

Wednesday 8 May 2013, 5:14PM
By Federated Farmers of New Zealand
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While Federated Farmers is saddened it understands why McDonald’s has removed lamb as a permanent item from its local menu.  Federated Farmers still has big hopes this breakthrough will eventually appear in other markets where lamb is widely consumed.

“McDonald’s may have removed the lamb from Lambton, but to us, the decision is more a speed hump,” says Jeanette Maxwell, Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre spokesperson.

“China has become our largest lamb market by volume and if we look to India, where free trade negotiations are underway, it has a 300-million strong  middle class fast developing a taste for meat.  .

“It looks promising if we put these together with the substantial intellectual property McDonald’s New Zealand has for how lamb works within the McDonald’s system.  In ANZCO’s Taranaki plant it has the means of production while our farms provide the raw ingredients and an impressive back story.

“Federated Farmers enthusiastically backed McDonald’s introduction of lamb but local sales had tailed off.  That is the commercial reality but I know lamb’s initial sales success will see it back on a regular basis.

“As we have seen with Richard Revell’s MO2 carbonated milk, good ideas have a habit of winning through in the end.

“What has been great is seeing how lamb is being used by other brands.  Subway has used it meanwhile both Burger Wisconsin and Burger Fuel feature it as permanent menu items.

“Burger Fuel is particularly exciting given its expansion into the Middle East, where lamb is a favoured meat protein.

“With McDonald’s, Federated Farmers was always realistic that lamb burgers alone were never going to be our saviour.  What remains important is the new thinking it typified.

“McDonald’s is worth some half a billion dollars each year to Kiwi suppliers.  Some $180 million was spent locally last year, including buying 210 tonne of lamb. In 2011, McDonald’s helped to export more than $320 million worth of food to its restaurants around the world.

“It will be great to see lamb back on its menu locally but it is also great what McDonald’s New Zealand exports from New Zealand.  Our big hope is that lamb may one day make an appearance in those export figures,” Mrs Maxwell concluded.