There’s a reason the veges in your Big Mac taste so fresh – they were grown right here, in Aotearoa.
It’s no newsflash that consumers are increasingly leaning into local and sustainable ingredients that pack a triple whammy – being good for our communities, the planet and local farmers and growers. The good news for McDonald’s fans is that almost all the ingredients on the menu tick the “made in New Zealand” box.
In 2021, that included 191 tonnes of tomatoes from South Auckland, 905 tonnes of lettuce pulled from the earth in the Franklin district and a whopping 11,819 tonnes of Canterbury potatoes, which translates to an impressive $175 million spent on ingredients from Aotearoa’s primary industries.
Another $325 million or so of Kiwi produce found its way into McDonald’s burgers overseas, bringing the company’s total spend with local grass-roots New Zealand farmers to a record $494 million – around $118.6 million up from the previous year.
That commitment to partnering with local producers to use only the freshest ingredients is a win for both our economy and our precious environment, helping to ensure the protection of human and animal rights, water sources and forests and to reduce food and packing waste.
Sutherland Farms, in the Franklin region, is one of McDonald’s valued suppliers. Boasting some of the nation’s most fertile and productive volcanic soil, this is HQ for McDonald’s lettuce growers. Within 48 hours of being picked, the lettuce is transported to the McDonald’s distribution centre, ensuring every burger has super-fresh lettuce.
Those onions on your burger are also grown in fertile soil around Matamata and Pukekoke. Growers then deliver them to McDonald’s long-term partner GSF Fresh! New Zealand within two days of being peeled. They then prepare the onions and manage distribution to McDonald’s restaurants nationwide. Brown onions are chopped to give extra flavour to Big Macs, hamburgers and cheeseburgers, or sliced larger for Quarter Pounders, while red onions are chopped and delivered to stores to be mixed through McDonald’s salads and wraps.
As for those tomatoes on your burger? They too hail from South Auckland. To keep them at their tip-top best, they’re only sliced when they get to each restaurant.
Can you even say you’ve had a burger if you haven’t had a side of McDonald’s famous French fries? If you’d like fries with that, they also come from four special varieties of spuds grown in and around Ashburton and Canterbury. These potatoes are then carefully processed by the McCain Foods facility in Timaru, the sole provider of fries to all McDonald’s restaurants.
So the next time you swing by McDonald’s for a burger and fries, you’ll leave not only with a full, happy belly, but also the warm glow of knowing you’re supporting local farmers and growers, the New Zealand economy and the planet.
For more information on locally sourced ingredients, visit mcdonalds.co.nz/our-ingredients.