McDonald’s has said it plans to reorganise its sourcing of European beef within five to six years.

Michael Gerling, purchasing director at McDonald’s Deutschland, said his company is in talks with other food groups including Nestlé and Danone, about creating a purchasers’ pool of cattle.

Gerling said it was possible that in the longer term, half of McDonald’s purchasing could be sourced through co-operations on the supply side. Nestlé and Danone would gain control over milk through “vertical integration on the purchasing side”. He added that McDonald’s would not farm cattle itself and had no plans to do so.