Food Quality & Sourcing
We Are Sourcing Delicious, Quality Ingredients in Responsible Ways
We are helping to create a future of quality, secure and sustainable food because how our food is produced and where it comes from matter to our customers, communities and the environment. This includes sourcing quality ingredients in responsible ways and supporting farming communities. When it comes to nutrition, we are focused on families and children, as that’s where we believe we can have the biggest impact.
We want people to leave our restaurants feeling good about eating our food – not just because it’s delicious, but also we source quality ingredients and give customers options. We will continue to invest in strong partnerships with suppliers and farmers around the world and deliver on customer expectations by evolving our menu and offering balanced, wholesome options the whole family can enjoy.
Alistair Macrow, Senior Vice President and Global Chief Marketing Officer, McDonald's Corporation
Our Impact Areas
The safety and quality of our food is our top priority and we are constantly innovating to ensure we meet and exceed our customers’ expectations. We integrate food safety into every aspect of our operations, including food sourcing, menu development, packaging, distribution and logistics, and the daily running of our restaurants.
We know how important delicious food is in bringing families together, to share moments and create lasting memories. Parents are looking for menu choices that they can feel good about feeding their kids, and that’s why we’re focused on evolving the Happy Meal and making balanced meals more accessible to families around the globe. Across our 20 major markets* half of all beverages sold in Happy Meals were water, milk or juice in 2019, and over 2.5 billion Happy Meal items sold since 2018 contained fruit, vegetable, low-fat dairy, water, lean protein or whole grains.
*U.S., Canada, Brazil, Argentina, U.K., France, Germany, Austria, Spain, Netherlands, Italy, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, Russia, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Taiwan, Australia.
McDonald’s partners with a global network of suppliers and farmers to provide quality ingredients and packaging materials. By engaging our supply chain, we have greater visibility and can support more sustainable production, so we can continue to serve our customers the delicious meals they know and love. We have set ambitious goals to guide our responsible sourcing efforts, focusing on the products with the most potential to create positive change: beef, chicken, coffee, palm oil, fish and fiber-based packaging.
We believe antibiotic resistance is a critical public health issue and we want to play our part to help preserve antibiotic effectiveness for future generations. That’s why we are partnering with suppliers, veterinarians, academia and farmers to ensure the responsible use of antibiotics in our supply chain. Since February 2019, we’ve tracked antibiotic use in over 2.9 billion birds from 80 suppliers for 88 separate medicines, resulting in significant reductions in antibiotic use across our supply chain. In the U.S., the chicken we serve has been free of antibiotics important to human medicine since 2016.*
*Farmers still use ionophores, a class of antibiotics that are not prescribed to people, to help keep chickens healthy.
We care about the health and welfare of the animals in our supply chain, which is why we partner across our supply chain to drive toward continuous improvement throughout their lives. We are helping to bring about positive change, ensuring the chicken, eggs, beef and pork we source come from suppliers who share our commitment to animal health and welfare. We also rely on strategic relationships with experts who provide guidance on our policies and implementation strategies in each of our local markets.
At the heart of our supply chain are the farmers, ranchers and producers who grow our ingredients, and we want every one of them to thrive – from large agricultural businesses to smallholders and family farms. Through our Flagship Farmers Program, we’re recognizing and connecting farmers who are leading the industry with pioneering practices that are ethical, sustainable and economically viable. We’re also investing in farmer programs that help improve practices, ensure livelihoods and respect human rights, such as our McCafé Sustainability Improvement Platform (McCafé SIP) for coffee farmers.
We expect all suppliers, regardless of the cultural, social and economic context, to meet our expectations of fundamental rights for all people as established by the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. This means treating their employees with fairness, respect and dignity, and following practices that protect the health and safety of the people working in their facilities. Our Supplier Code of Conduct and our Supplier Workplace Accountability (SWA) program aim to help suppliers understand our expectations, verify compliance with our expectations and work toward continuous improvement.
We want to make sure the beef in our burgers contributes to a sustainable food system in which communities, animals and the planet thrive. We know that we don’t yet have all the answers, but we’re engaging with expert groups, farmers and industry to test and scale more sustainable and regenerative practices that help protect nature, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and secure farmer livelihoods. For example, we have teamed up with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Walmart Foundation and Cargill to improve grazing management practices across one million acres of land in the Northern Great Plains – one of the last remaining temperate grasslands in the world. These efforts help us reduce GHG emissions and enable us to progress toward our climate commitment.