McDonald's is planning to help Britain's beleaguered farmers by paying 50% above the market rate for beef and pork. It will cut the amount of imports from Ireland and increase the use of British and Welsh beef instead. The burger bar chain is also looking at other ways of helping an industry badly hit by foot-and-mouth and bluetongue, while the summer floods have forced up the price of animal feed. McDonald's spends about £50m every year on beef and another £9m on pork. The price increases are expected to cost the company almost £2m every year. But senior vice-president Matthew Howe denied the company had any plans to pass on the current price rise to customers. The Sunday Times 14/10/07 (Business) page 3.3