McDonald's ad campaign to show where its food comes from

12/27/2011 11:23:00 AM
By The Grower Staff

Washington potato grower Frank MartinezYouTube/McDonald'sIn a new ad campaign, Washington potato grower Frank Martinez will show customers where McDonald's french fries come from.

McDonald's is following in the footsteps of several other major food companies, which have conducted advertising campaigns that showcase their farmer-suppliers.

In a Dec. 14 tweet, chief marketing officer Neil Golden hinted at the campaign and provided a link to a teaser video on YouTube.

The video clip features Warden, Wash., potato grower Frank Martinez sampling one of his tubers.

In addition to Martinez, the campaign will include potato supplier Jen Bunger of Hoelzer Farm in Pasco, Wash.; lettuce supplier Dirk Giannini of Christensen & Giannini LLC in Salinas, Calif., and beef supplier Steve Fogelsong of Astoria, Ill.

The campaign will kick off Jan. 2 and show customers where their food comes from.

Among the other companies that have waged similar ad campaigns are Frito-Lay, which had a series of print and television ads that featured their potato growers.

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Mark Seitz    
North Carolina  |  January, 05, 2012 at 03:46 PM

I think this is a great thing. It is about time the corporate entities that control our food supply - and do it in such an efficient and effective manner - tell their story. There are millions of hardworking farmers and food industry people doing great things every day but they've hidden behind a cloak of secrecy far too long. Its time they too told their story to the country. In staying silent for the last 10 years our corporate buyers have let the local foods, backyard gardeners and "sustainable" ag crowd work the media and the general public into believing that food from large farms isn't safe to eat. Not only is that wrong but every farmer large and small is has to be a part of the food system. We have 9 billion people to feed in the coming years everybody in the food industry is going to be in an 'all hands on deck' position. Our farming and corporate food industry's productivity, efficiency and quality have to be show cased so that US consumers really do know where there food comes from. In doing so MAYBE they'll appreciate it more.

David Smith    
Virginia  |  January, 06, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Mark, I agree with you up to a point. Our food safety guidelines are very good at regulating potential risks. There are two immediate downsides to showcasing local producers. For one thing USA imports a lot of our food from countries that do not share our stringent food safety standards. So putting a local face on food will only increase the scepticism when additional food from another country shows up contaminated. Because the consumer will now be "conditioned" to believing the local face of farmer Jones down the street is responsible for the food outbreak. Sounds far fetched but it's true. Secondly, don't be decieved. Corporations are all about the bottom line. By showcasing the local farmer they are once again exploiting the farmer to capture a bigger market share ie. from the very lucrative sustainable and organic market. By creating a more personable image they are trying to disassociate themselves from the stereotype of a faceless corporation. I believe, we have some of the lowest priced food of any major country. We have that because of efficiency, technolgy and expoitation. If corporations were serious about changing their image, they would showcase (for example) how they are actually working with the local farmer to offset the farmer's production costs by giving a premium for utilizing best management practices or showcase how their farmers are paid better because they reduce the use of pesticides, or how they are contributing to the local economy in the farmer's area by scholorships or contributions to non-profits to improve the lives of the farmers and their communities, etc. I work with farmers. They are often at the mercy of corporations who set a contract price lower than the production price. I could site numerous examples of how the farmer is exploited but that would take too long. Suffice it to say it's enough to make you sick to your stomach.

allan barnes    
wilson nc  |  December, 18, 2012 at 01:21 PM

does mcdonalds contrat greenhouse tomatoe growers if so how do i get in touch w/ them

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