Whāngārā Farms situated north of Gisborne has become the first beef farm in country to be added to McDonald's Flagship Farmers.

The Ngāti Konohi iwi-run farm is now considered a global industry leader in sustainable farming.

Ingrid Collins, the Chair of Whāngārā Farms says the three incorporations Whāngārā B5, Pakarae A and Tapuwae Whitiwhiti make up the iwi-run business.

“To do it like how we have done and forming a board with the three incorporations must be represented and we've run the board like that now for the last 12 years and it's been successful.”

Whāngārā Farms farmer Richard Scholefield says the farm partnered with NZ Beef + Lamb and McDonald's transforming the farm into the benchmark for farm sustainability.

“We analyse everything to do with our land our stock our system our water then came up with a plan it sorts of guides us in how we run the property.”

McDonald's spokesperson Simon Kenny says the McDonalds Flagship Farmers Program allows farmers to share their stories and the best practices.

“Flagship Farmers is a programme that McDonald's has introduced around the world to take the best farmers in our supply chain and share their best practice and tell their story.

"Richard and Ingrid are the first in the world to do that. It's really awesome to have NZ on the global stage.”

Scholefield also says NZ is one of McDonald's top ten beef producing markets and recognised for the quality of its grass-fed beef.

“We are 100% grass-fed whereas if you go to the USA or Europe there's a lot of grain there's fed and it’s a completely different system. It takes us longer to get to the product, but we are more sustainable.”

Last year alone, 33 million kilograms of beef was exported from New Zealand which includes Whāngārā Farms breed of 2,500 Angus cows for McDonald’s.

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