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McDonald's NZ defends use of pork imports

12:03 AEST Fri Jun 22 2012
AAP
McDonald's NZ says it has tried to source pork locally but could not get a guaranteed, quality supply
McDonald's NZ says it has tried to source pork locally but could not get a guaranteed, quality supply (Getty)

Fast-food chain operator McDonald's is countering calls from the Green Party and animal rights groups for it to source pork locally by saying it would probably have to put prices up.

The SPCA on Friday agreed with the Greens call for McDonald's NZ to set animal welfare standards for the pork they use.

The Greens said on Tuesday that McDonald's had strict standards for all pork products they purchased in the UK, and in the US its pork suppliers had been given 10 years to phase out sow crates.

McDonald's NZ did not have any commitments for purchasing pork with decent animal welfare standards, the Greens said.

"Recently McDonald's looked to use local pork supply for the Atlanta Pork McRib burger, but could not get guaranteed surety or quality of supply," a McDonald's NZ spokesman told NZ Newswire.

McDonald's had not been contacted directly by the Greens or the SPCA before they went public and had offered "to deal directly with them rather than via press releases".

"As recently as this week we have had conversations with New Zealand Pork, who we have said we're happy to meet with to discuss supply."

The pork used in New Zealand was sourced from Canada as loins and was converted to bacon in Australia for both markets. It was one of the very few things McDonald's NZ sourced offshore, the spokesman said.

"Any decision for McDonald's to use a local supply of pork would have to go through a rigorous process, including looking at what the flow on effect would be for our customers."

A possible price increase was one.