McDonald’s China expansion promising for Australia’s beef industry

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 15th August 2011

Plans by McDonald’s Corporation to expand its store network in China could spell good news for Australia’s beef producers.

The fast food chain plans to bring the number of its restaurants in China from 1,356 to 2,000 by 2013 and, according to McDonald’s Australia, Australia’s beef producers are well placed to benefit from the expansion.

McDonald’s Australia’s Skye Oxenham told Australian Food News, “Australia is already one of the largest beef suppliers to the McDonald’s system worldwide, especially in Asia. That is because of its competitiveness in the key areas of: quality, quantity, dependability and price. So naturally there is potential for Australian beef producers to sell more.

“It is worth noting that while China has 1,356 restaurants today (supplied mainly from Australian and local beef), we have 3,275 restaurants in Japan currently supplied almost solely with Australian beef. Korea is another market that is growing extremely quickly and who also use Australian beef.

“McDonald’s Australia has been using Australian beef for more than 30 years and we are committed to continue to support Australian beef farmers.”

Meat and Livestock Australia’s Cattle Industry Projections Economist, Tim McRae said, “From an industry point of view, McDonald’s is a very big customer for our beef suppliers. The relationship is very much about quality, trust and safety. Our beef supply complements McDonald’s desires.

“McDonald’s takes manufactured beef for its patties. The company’s investment increases the value of each beef carcass because it demands not a specific cut of meat, but also takes the lower value product.”

According to McDonald’s Australia, 26 million kilos of Australian beef is used by McDonald’s Australia every year, while almost double this amount – 46 million kilos – is exported to McDonald’s operations in Asia, Japan, the Middle East and the United States.