We expect all our raw material suppliers to minimize animal transport times to reduce the animals’ stress. We stipulate that the meat in our global supply chain must be from livestock that was not shipped for more than 24 hours by sea, and sent directly to slaughter, without prior exception having been made to this policy by the Company’s Quality Systems team.
We also aim minimize pre-slaughter transport times in our supply chain, in line with expert animal welfare guidance. In Europe, we stipulate that transport times for beef and pork are no longer than eight hours. In 2017, this accounted for approximately 30% of global beef volumes and 15% of global pork volumes.
Where legislated (such as in the E.U.), transport time requirements must be met.
Welfare at slaughter
The Company has specific expectations to ensure that animals are humanely slaughtered in our global network of approved slaughterhouses, enforced through independent audits of key welfare indicators. These objective measurement systems are aligned with recognized national and international standards such as the North American Meat Institute and the World Organization for Animal Health. The slaughterhouses on our approved supplier list are required to meet these welfare standards, which are independently audited annually to ensure compliance.
Pre-slaughter stunning efficacy is a critical animal welfare requirement enforced across beef, pork, and chicken. Failure to meet McDonald’s Stun Efficacy requirements will results in immediate de-listment from Company’s approved supply list. Regardless of stun method, any sensible animal on the bleed rail constitutes an automatic audit failure.
We estimate that more than 95% of chicken and beef volumes in our system are stunned prior to slaughter. The exception to this are certain markets where consumers to do not allow stunning prior to slaughter for ritual or religious reasons. For animals going through ritual or religious slaughter, McDonald’s ritual or religious Animal Health and Welfare standards are strictly observed.
For more than two decades, we have worked with others in the industry and respected experts, such as Dr. Temple Grandin, to better understand and improve performance on issues associated with animal welfare at slaughter. We continue to monitor progress and identify opportunities for improvement.
How we stay on track
We have specific expectations to ensure animals are humanely slaughtered in our global network of approved abattoirs. The abattoirs on our approved supplier list are required to meet these welfare standards, which are independently audited annually to ensure compliance. 100% of the suppliers listed on our approved supplier list that provide the McDonald’s System with beef, chicken and pork raw materials are compliant with the Company’s requirements. If an approved abattoir fails an audit, it will be immediately suspended from our approved supplier list and shipment of raw material from that facility will cease. In the spirit of continuous improvement, we will work with suppliers to improve their practices and help them develop robust and sustainable corrective action plans, after which they can be re-audited by an independent third-party audit for compliance and re-approved if the noncompliance was addressed. In the case of repeated failed audits, the abattoir will be removed from our approved supplier list.
Our animal health and welfare expectations, along with all other global sustainable sourcing expectations, for all suppliers are outlined in our Global Sustainable Sourcing Guide. Our global and market Quality Systems teams are in frequent contact with our suppliers, reviewing supplier performance to ensure policies are properly implemented and consistently met.
We have also aligned with the National Milk Producers Federation’s Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) program. By 2017, all U.S. dairy product suppliers were expected to track the percentage of the farms in their dairy supply that had completed the FARM second-party assessment; by 2020, 100% of all supplying farms will participate in FARM and have completed the second-party assessment.