A case – Developing key suppliers

Unable to find the right variety of potato for manufacturing its world famous French fries, McDonald’s and its supplier Mc Cain Foods Pvt Ltd., began to work closely with farmers in Gujarat and Maharashtra to develop process-grade potato varieties. Mc Cain Foods Pvt Ltd partnered with McDonald’s to work with farmers in Gujarat (specifically the towns of Deesa and Kheda) to interact with agronomics and field assistance to demonstrate the best practices – right from better agronomy techniques like irrigation system, sowing seed treatments, planting methods, fertilizer application programs to better storage methods of the produce. In addition to this, the farmers also benefited through incremental monetary gains as they sold directly to Mc Cain Food Pvt Ltd instead of to commission agents.

The result of these efforts has been that now, the Gujarat potato crop has been utilized to make McDonald’s Chatpatey Potato Wedges and the company expects to consume nearly 550 tonnes of quality potato yield from Gujarat next year.

Trikaya Agriculture the supplier of lettuce and an integral part of the supply chain, has benefited immensely through exposure to better agricultural management practices and sharing of advanced agricultural technology. Initially lettuce could only be grown during the winter months but with McDonald’s expertise in the area of agriculture. Trikaya Farms in Talegoan, Maharasthra is now able to grow this crop all the year round. Post harvest facilities now include a cold chain consisting of a pre-cooling room to remove field heat, a large cold room and a refrigerated van for transportation where the temperature and the relative humidity of the crop is maintained between 10C and 40 C and 95% respectively. Vegetables are moved into the pre-cooling room within half an hour of harvesting. The pr-cooling room ensures rapid vacuum cooling at 20 C within 90 minutes The pack house, pre cooling and cold room are located at the farm itself ensuring no delay between harvesting pre cooling packaging and cold storage.

Mc Donald’s suppliers for the chicken and vegetables range of products are also important players in this cold chain. Technical and financial support extended by OSI industries Inc., USA and McDonald’s India Private Limited have enabled Vista Processed Foods Pvt Ltd to set up world class infrastructure and support services. This includes hi-tech refrigeration plants for manufacture of frozen food at temperature as low as – 360 C. This is vital to ensure that the frozen food retains it freshness for a long time and he cold chain is maintained. The frozen product is immediately moved to cold storage rooms.

With continued assistance from its international partners, Vista has installed hi-tech equipment for both the chicken and vegetable processing lines, which reflects the latest food processing technology (deboning, blending, forming coating frying and freezing) . For the vegetable range the latest vegetable mixers and blenders are in operation. Also, keeping cultural sensitivities in mind both processing lines are absolutely segregated and utmost care is taken to ensure that the vegetable products do not mix with the non vegetarian products.

McDonald’s suppliers of cheese, Dynamic Dairy too recognizing the need for quality milk to make quality cheese, has set up a dedicated quality program for milk procurement. They have made significant investments in setting up bulk coolers at all milk collection centers in the Baramati areas, where they are based.

McDonald’s local supply networks through Radhakrishna Food land (P) Ltd, which operates distribution centers (DC) for McDonald’s restaurants in Mumbai and Delhi. The division has focused all its resources to meet McDonald’s expectation of Cold Clean, on time delivery. From this has evolved the mission statement. To ensure that all McDonald’s restaurants are supplied without interruption products conforming to acceptable standards at lowest local costs to the system

Ranging from liquid products coming from Punjab to lettuce from Pune, DC receives items from different parts of the country. These items are stored in rooms with different temperature zones and are finally dispatched to the McDonald’s restaurants on the basis of their requirements. The company has both cold and dry storage facilities, with capability to store products up to – 220 C as well as delivery trucks to transport products at temperatures ranging from room temperature to the frozen state.

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