McDonald’s unveils £500,000 capital grant for UK dairy farmers for animal welfare.
Developed in partnership with dairy cooperative Arla Foods, the scheme is making a £500,000 capital grant available to UK dairy farmers who work with Arla this year.
Successful applicants will be awarded a grant of up to £10,000 each to fund innovation in animal welfare on their farm.
Connor McVeigh, Supply Chain Director at McDonald’s UK, said: “UK farmers have always been front-footed when it comes to animal welfare… they continue to invest and innovate. We want to work hand in hand with farmers to make sure the industry continues to thrive.
“That’s why, as part of our Farm Forward programme, we are investing half a million pounds this year to support farmers who are driving innovation in animal welfare on their farms.”
Find out more about the grant for UK dairy farmers here.
The grant announcement follows new research commissioned by McDonald’s UK and conducted by the National Farm Research Unit.
Asked why they are increasing their investment in animal welfare, beyond improving animal health,
88% believe that high welfare standards are vital to making UK farming globally competitive.
59% said they had seen an increased demand for higher welfare products over the last five years from food companies, retailers and end consumers.
64% of respondents said they think individual farmers are responsible for driving animal welfare standards in the UK farming industry.
However, the research also highlighted serious challenges that farmers face when it comes to driving higher welfare standards.
70% cited high production costs,
53% said they had difficulties raising the funds themselves and
54% said they struggled to get outside funding.
Animals Prefer Natural Water to Mains Water
One on the possible actions that a farmer can take is to provide fresh stream water as livestock much prefer natural water to mains supplied water. Studies have even shown that milk production can increase if the drinking water is switched from mains to natural. The problem with livestock entering the watercourse to drink is twofold – erosion of the riverbanks and fouling of the watercourse.
The solution for many farmers has been to fence off the watercourse and deliver the water to a storage tank, gravity feeding to the troughs – taking the water to the livestock rather than the other way round. This can be achieved with a Zero Energy Papa Pump which uses no electricity or fuel, is very cheap to run and will pump 24/7 without any attendance by the farmer. This, and the fact that a farmer can save ££££’s on his water bills, has led many farmers to install Papa Pump systems for their livestock watering.
For more information on the Zero Energy Papa Pump go to papapump.com