Quantcast
Connect with us

US sanctions encourage McDonald’s to cook up Russian fries

Published

on

French fries at McDonald’s restaurants from Moscow to Murmansk will be Russian from now on, as U.S. sanctions have spurred on a shift by the American fast-food chain to use local potatoes.

McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N), which opened in Russia in 1990 as the Soviet Union collapsed, has turned to Russian ingredients for everything from Big Macs to chicken burgers.

ADVERTISEMENT

But till now it relied on frozen French fries from the Netherlands and Poland as Russian spuds weren’t quite right.

 “There was no potato which would suit us in terms of quality – color, taste, size – these are all the details that are important for us,” Khamzat Khasbulatov, chairman of McDonald’s Russia, told Reuters.
 
But swings in the oil price and sanctions by the United States and other Western nations – imposed over Moscow’s annexation of Crimea and other rows – have hit the rouble and led to trade restrictions, causing a headache for any business in Russia that imports or exports goods.
“The rouble’s volatility was one of the major components of our interest in localization,” Khasbulatov said.

Now a new plant near Lipetsk, a city 450 km (280 miles) south of Moscow, using potatoes grown on local farms will supply frozen fries to the chain of 651 outlets across Russia under a long-term contract, raising the share of the chain’s locally sourced products to 98 percent.

“This gives us the possibility to continue our development in a more stable way,” the chairman said. “It minimizes the risks connected to customs and administrative decisions, and guarantees stable, predictable prices in roubles.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The plant, worth 8.7 billion roubles, was built jointly by Russian agricultural group Belaya Dacha and the Netherlands-based Lamb Weston Meijer, both long-time partners of McDonald’s.

The factory has capacity to process 200,000 tonnes of potatoes a year, washing, cutting and freezing the vegetables.

The rouble has recovered some ground as the price of oil, a major revenue earner for Russia, has risen from a low in 2016. But Western trade restrictions remain in place.

ADVERTISEMENT

Russia’s response to punitive measures has included a 2014 ban on a range of Western food imports.

“Sanctions as well as counter sanctions not only affect our company but the whole industry and the economy,” said Khasbulatov, whose firm has 50,000 Russian employees and more than 160 domestic suppliers.

 
“But in any case we continue our development, continue to build new restaurants and modernize existing ones,” he said, adding that firm opened 41 restaurants in Russia in 2017.

ADVERTISEMENT

Editing by Edmund Blair


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

HBO’s ‘Real Time’ panel provides roadmap for Democrats to get DNI’s Ukraine report and speed-up impeachment

Published

on

During the "Overtime" segment of HBO's "Real Time," Bill Maher and his guests took up the problems the Democrats are having acquiring Donald Trump'stax returns as well as other documents they need if they are going to impeach the president.

Responding to a question over whether the state of New York will indict the president, the conversation turned to prosecutors seeking Trump's taxes.

According to presidential historian Tim Naftali, there is precedent allowing the acquisition.

"Is it really that hard to get somebody's frigging, f*cking taxes? " host Bill Maher asked.

"Actually, there is a precedent," Naftali explained. "If the House started on the impeachment hearings, they could act on the precedent of 1974, where Nixon's taxes were turned over to the impeachment committee. So there is a precedent, but they have to make the decision that they are having an impeachment inquiry."

Continue Reading

2020 Election

Trump slams ‘partisan’ whistleblower, Biden pushes back

Published

on

US President Donald Trump on Friday vigorously rejected a whistleblower's claim of wrongdoing, amid reports he used a call with Ukraine's president to pressure him to investigate the son of Trump's Democratic rival Joe Biden.

The whistleblower's secret complaint has triggered a tense showdown between Congress, whose Democratic leaders are demanding to review the complaint, and the executive branch which has barred them from doing so.

It has also raised concerns Trump sought to strong-arm Ukraine into providing damaging information on the president's possible 2020 challenger, which would represent dangerous foreign meddling in the US election -- similar to the interference blamed on Russia in 2016, when Trump defeated Hillary Clinton.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Dem senator accuses the FBI of a carrying out a ‘cover-up’ for Brett Kavanaugh — and calls for an investigation

Published

on

angry Brett Kavanaugh

Old wounds were reopened this week when a New York Times article, written by Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, focused on Deborah Ramirez — one of the women who, in 2018, accused U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct. And Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, in a USA Today op-ed published on Friday, argued that Kavanaugh wasn’t adequately vetted as he should have been.

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Investigate and Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image