The Thoughtful Way McDonald's Is Helping Farmers Affected By Fires

We may have seen or heard about the extreme heatwaves in Europe, but we may not have stopped to think about the human cost of the natural disaster, which the European Union says could have kicked off nearly 400 wildfires and scorched more than 275,000 hectares of land in Spain, per BBC. Of that, The Olive Press quotes the Minister for Territorial Policy Isabel Rodriguez in July – before the height of the fires – as saying 70,000 hectares included both forest land used for agriculture. So we can only imagine that number has increased since then.

The deadly wildfires gave McDonald's the idea of releasing a new burger aimed specifically at helping out its farming partners in Spain. The item, which will be available for three weeks, is "The Burger That Could Not Be." This isn't an impossible Big Mac or Quarter Pounder but a virtual product available at the chain's digital kiosks, according to Adweek.

McDonald's is still paying its farming partners for part of their crops

In a powerful ad designed to support the campaign, and as reported by Adweek, McDonald's Spain said it was buying the fire-damaged crops and would create "a burger that doesn't exist." Sales of the nonexistent sandwich would be used to help "affected farmers and stockbreeders." Part of the advertisement, which also ran on Instagram, features a dark McDonald's burger box above footage of trees. A hand opens the box, revealing that it's empty.

McDonald's chief marketing and digital officer Natalia Echeverria explained the campaign, saying that "with this initiative, we're looking to bring our brand purpose closer to society in a more tangible way. That is why we've decided to give all our support and our aid to the farmers affected by the fires, a key sector for both our society and economy."

Adweek also described the move as part of McDonald's "Big Good" initiative, which was first implemented to help farmers navigate the financial impacts of COVID-19. As part of that campaign, McDonald's produced the "Big Good" burger, which Think Spain said was created with produce sourced from farming partners across the country. Among the regions involved were Andalucía, Murcia, Catalunya, Madrid, and Castilla-La Mancha. All were regions said to be hit hard by the pandemic.