8 January 2014 | Gurjit Degun
Fast-food chain McDonald’s has committed to sourcing “verified sustainable” beef by 2016 to improve environmental practices in the way beef is produced.
The company explained that it also wants to “support positive workplaces in the beef industry, and drive continuous improvement in animal health and welfare”.
It added that this is a big challenge because there hasn’t been a universal definition of sustainable beef.
“That's why we joined forces with other stakeholders to build coalitions and influence industry-wide change,” the company said. “For instance, we collaborated with World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Cargill, JBS, and others to develop the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB).
“We began our work in 2011, and now, this multi-stakeholder group has drafted guiding principles and best practices for sustainable beef - a breakthrough for the beef industry, and for McDonald's.”
The company has found that 70 per cent of its greenhouse gas emission impacts are in its supply chain, and of those, around 40 per cent are related to beef.
“Even though our purchases represent less than 2 per cent of the total beef and dairy industry, we are working with other end users and the broader beef industry to address this important topic,” McDonald’s said.