Partnerships and platforms to supportFarmer Livelihoods

Our success depends on the success of the farmers who raise, grow and produce our quality ingredients. It’s why we invest in testing, scaling and sharing practices that increase productivity and efficiency while protecting land, livestock and livelihoods into the future.

 

 

Why it matters

To bring you delicious meals every time you visit a McDonald’s restaurant, we count on thousands of businesses that supply our ingredients – at the heart of which are farmers. To keep standards high, we want the farmers, ranchers, growers and producers who provide to us to thrive – from large agricultural businesses to smallholders and family farms. That’s why it’s important that we work with our suppliers to truly engage with farmers, support economically viable farming and develop long-term relationships that benefit us all.

 

On this page:

Our approach | Our actions

 

Our approach

 

We believe in the power of partnerships with farmers and agricultural organizations to share knowledge, tools and best practice farming methods. By helping to enable peer-to-peer sharing, we want to positively impact farmers’ ability to increase their efficiency, productivity and profitability over the long term. All of this helps ensure a sustainable supply of ingredients for McDonald’s restaurants.

Our work on farmer livelihoods supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals, a global agenda to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all, specifically:

As well as these, we’ve mapped our Scale for Good initiatives to all 17 goals.

 

Our actions

 

Celebrating Flagship Farmers

Our Flagship Farmers Program, developed in collaboration with the Food Animal Initiative, aims to highlight best practices across farms that supply the System. In Europe, where the project began, around 470,000 farms supply raw materials to 7,000 McDonald’s restaurants, including wheat, potatoes, tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, fruit, milk, eggs, beef, chicken and pork.

Of those farms, approximately 26 have been designated as “Flagship Farmers” and their experiences are shared with peers via the program’s web platform. Applying field-proven best practices is one way in which we believe farms can increase their efficiency, address challenges and ensure long-term viability. We’re currently exploring what good practice looks like as part of our ongoing Scale for Good strategy. We will continue to define the specific practices over the coming months but currently they include:

 

Ethical: human rights, animal health and welfare, collaboration and business relationships, community relations.

 

Economic: advance economically viable farming, high-quality production.

 

Environmental: climate change and GHG emissions, conserving forests, water protection, soil health, biodiversity and ecosystems.

 

Farms that demonstrate excellent practice in at least one of these areas, while also operating to high standards in all other areas, can gain Flagship Farm status.

The Flagship Farmers Program is expanding globally as we aim to further encourage farmer-to-farmer knowledge sharing. As the first step, we’re expanding the program to our top 10 beef sourcing countries (U.S., Australia, Germany, Brazil, Ireland, Canada, France, New Zealand, U.K. and Poland).

 

“Being a Flagship Farmer makes us aware of the importance of establishing good agriculture practices and growing quality products in a sustainable and safe way to ensure the future of agriculture. Only in this way we can gain the trust and confidence of our customers.”

Lettuce Grower, Fatima Farm, Primaflor, Spain

Smell the coffee

The McCafé Sustainability Improvement Platform – McCafé SIP – is an investment in farmers that builds the livelihoods and capabilities of coffee farming communities. McDonald’s roasters are using their expertise and relationships with farmers to advance sustainable coffee growing. Engagement includes access to training and agronomists, land stewardship advice, and agronomist input to increase productivity and quality of coffee beans.

Over the past two years, our roasters have already supported over 5,000 coffee farmers through this program. McDonald’s U.S., McDonald’s Canada and their Franchisees also invested more than $6 million in training Guatemalan coffee farmers.

 

“In the past, we saw this property simply as a farm; we weren’t even sure if we were making money. Today, we see it as our own family business, with profits we are investing in our home.”

Arley de Jesus Montoya Solis and Zeneyda Marulanda, Colombian Coffee Growers