McDonald’s is committed to leadership on sustainable beef, which includes preserving forests. We have been actively working with our business, stakeholders, and our suppliers on this important issue for almost 30 years. For example, in 1989 McDonald’s stopped buying beef from farms within the Amazon Biome in an effort to protect this important ecosystem. Since that time, we have been working closely with our suppliers and external partners to understand and develop systems for responsible forest management in all biomes from which we source.
For example, McDonald’s and Arcos Dorados are partners of the The Novo Campo Project by sourcing from this program in which beef is responsibly produced inside the Amazon Biome. This program runs under the auspices of the Brazilian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GTPS) and is run by NGOs such as Imaflora. Beef from Novo Campo demonstrates that food can be produced without putting important landscapes at risk.
Outside of the Amazon biome, we are actively working on traceability, risk mapping, supplier engagement, intervention, and assurance to ensure that we only source beef from farms that meet the criteria outlined in our Commitment on Forests. This is also aligned with the New York Declaration on Forests of which we are a signatory. As a signatory, we are active members of TFA 2020. We are prioritizing high-risk regions for deforestation and moving forward by implementing existing solutions such as certification schemes, or supplier led programs. McDonald’s is also supporting the creation of solutions where none exist today. For example, we are actively engaged with the Collaboration for Forests and Agriculture (CFA) - an effort of the National Wildlife Federation, The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and other strategic partners, which aims to eliminate the loss and degradation of tropical and sub-tropical forest ecosystems resulting from the production of beef and soy to ensure these globally traded agricultural commodities are sourced only from deforestation-free areas. CFA is developing tools for transparency and decision-support and unlocking financial incentives for transformation on the ground, creating the enabling environment to catalyze sector-wide deforestation-free production and sourcing of beef and soy in the Brazilian Amazon and Cerrado and the Gran Chaco in Argentina and Paraguay.
There is more work to be done, but by drawing on our experience and working collaboratively – we will drive progress on this important focus area.
What does it take to know the farms we get beef from around the world don’t contribute to deforestation?
- Traceability – The ability to work with our suppliers who track our ground beef all the way back to the farm where it originated, in the high risk regions we are prioritising in our strategy.
- Risk mapping – A tool we use to understand and evaluate the relationship between our beef supply chain and forests.
- Supplier engagement – Ongoing dialogue with partners to ensure and support best practices across our supply chain.
- Intervention – Taking action and ensuring continuous improvement in partnership with suppliers.
- Monitoring & Assurance – A critical step we take to check and double check that our efforts across the supply chain are being implemented properly.
We acknowledge that the definition of deforestation risk varies in different markets around the world. The assessment of deforestation risk will be determined through consultations with industry and external stakeholders with consideration to local market.