It has been widely reported that Mr Oliver has held repeated clandestine discussions with the chain's UK bosses — including its Chief Executive Paul Pomroy — but is said to not have an ongoing commercial relationship with the takeaway food giant.
Eventually you have to talk to your enemies.— The Wheel Turns… (@SeanLeggX) 4 February 2019
Keep your enemy close— ™® (@BwbgAgJzffalTpD) February 4, 2019
In 2011, Mr Oliver was in the spotlight for rallying against McDonald's burgers, slamming them as "not fit for human consumption" and calling for an end to the use of an additive found in processed beef which he said made the burgers resemble "pink slime." Yet, those comments were only among a plethora of critiques that the food crusader Oliver has levelled against McDonald's and other giants in the fast-food industry. In 2016 he called into question the merits of allowing McDonald's to sponsor the Olympics. Also, as part of his anti-obesity campaign, he famously called for junk food advertisements to be banned on television until the late evening.
Jamie Oliver held discussions with McDonald's despite previous criticism of fast food chain pic.twitter.com/t9pwtnlw6D— Sean Sullivan (@ReformedPsycho) 4 February 2019
Oliver also stirred up controversy after partnering with oil-producing conglomerate Shell, to allegedly create a healthier 'food-to-go' range for the company's gas stations across the UK. Hitting back at the criticism of that move, Oliver is quoted as saying that, "if we want Britain to be in a healthier, more productive place in 15 to 20 years, we absolutely need businesses to be on that journey."
Yet, there are those — likely to be dismissed as cynics — who will say that considering he's spent his career criticising McDonald's, Oliver's engagements with them are nothing more than an attempt to get rich while masquerading in the public space as an innocent advocate for healthy eating.