Our Journey To

Verified Sustainable Beef

McDonald's aims to
make a positive difference in the lives of farmers and our planet by advancing more sustainable beef production. And we're making progress.

 

Close to 60 years ago, McDonald's started out as a hamburger destination. Today, we offer a range of menu choices, but burgers remain some of our most iconic menu items. That's just one reason we want to do our part to improve environmental practices in the way beef is produced, support positive workplaces in the beef industry, and drive continuous improvement in animal health and welfare. Plus, we envision doing all of this while providing affordability and quality, along with economic viability for those who raise cattle and produce beef.

We cannot do this alone, so we will listen, learn, and collaborate with stakeholders from farm to the front counter to develop sustainable beef solutions.

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What We're Doing

In 2014, we set a goal to begin purchasing a portion of our beef from sustainable sources in 2016. We’re proud to say we’ve accomplished that goal, while understanding that the journey is far from over. Back in 2011, McDonald’s joined forces with World Wildlife Fund, our suppliers Cargill and JBS and many others to establish the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef. In 2014, this multi-stakeholder group published global guiding principles and best practices for sustainable beef – a breakthrough for the industry and for McDonald’s.

Because beef production varies widely around the world, local solutions are essential. So we set about establishing pilot programs to test the GRSB principles and criteria in the real world, starting in Canada.

Our aspiration: a world in which ALL the beef in our supply chain comes from verified sustainable sources.

Meet the People

  • Supply Chain

    Ignacio Blanco-Traba

    Senior Director - Global Sourcing, McDonald's Corporation

    Promoting Sustainability in Our Supply Chain:

    Ignacio Blanco-Traba

    Ignacio Blanco-Traba is Senior Director of Global Sourcing for McDonald's Corporation.

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  • Collaboration - Ranchers

    Bob Lowe

    Rancher, Nanton, Alberta, Canada

    Collaborating with Ranchers:

    Bob Lowe

    Rancher, Nanton, Alberta, Canada

    Bob raises about 800 head of cattle each year and has been ranching the same land for 50 years. Bob also serves as vice-chair of the Alberta Beef Producers Board of Directors.

    "I believe that sustainability is going to become one of the best things that’s ever come to the Canadian cattle industry. What makes [the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef program] such a credible project to me…is the people sitting at the table that developed the indicators."

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  • Collaboration - Environmentalists

    Nancy Labbe

    Senior Program Officer, Sustainable Food, World Wildlife Fund

    Collaborating with World Wildlife Fund:

    Nancy Labbe

    Senior Program Officer, Sustainable Food, World Wildlife Fund

    At WWF, Nancy leads direct engagement with the ranching community in North America, with a special focus on the Northern Great Plains region, where sustainable beef production goes hand-in-hand with conserving the iconic grassland ecosystem on which it relies.

    "For us, producing more sustainable beef is really about using less resources. This project is taking those big, broad, global indicators and putting them on the ground so we can confidently say that this is a verified sustainable product."

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Case Studies

Sustainable Beef Starts at the Farm

Building a Better Burger
- Sustainable Beef in
Canada, Brazil and the U.S.

McDonald's has reached a major milestone in our journey to sustainable beef.

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Principles for Sustainable Beef Farming in Europe

McDonald's plays a leading role in the SAI Platform Beef Working Group, which brings together organizations to find solutions to sustainability challenges in the beef supply chain.

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