Our success depends on the success of the farmers who raise, grow and produce our quality ingredients. It’s why we work with industry partners to research, share and scale best 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 all of the farmers, ranchers, growers and producers who provide our delicious ingredients 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 engage with farmers, support economically viable farming and develop long-term relationships that benefit us all.
On this page:
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, while preserving the planet over the long term 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:
- Goal 2 – Zero hunger (specifically targets 2.3 and 2.4).
- Goal 8 – Decent work and economic growth (specifically target 8.5).
- Goal 12 – Responsible consumption and production (specifically target 12.2).
- Goal 15 – Life on land (specifically targets 15.1, 15.2 and 15.5).
- Goal 17 – Partnerships for the goals (specifically targets 17.16 and 17.17).
As well as these, we’ve mapped our Scale for Good initiatives to all 17 goals.
Celebrating Flagship Farmers
Our Flagship Farmers Program, developed in collaboration with the FAI Farms, aims to highlight best practices across farms that supply the McDonald's System, including wheat, potatoes, lettuce, carrots, cheese, milk, eggs, beef, and chicken.
Of those farms, approximately 30 have been designated as “Flagship Farmers”, highlighted on the program’s web platform, a vehicle to share Flagship Farmer experiences and best practices with peers in the agriculture industry. 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 will continue to identify and elevate best practices relating to our impact areas, including:
Ethical: respect human rights, advance animal health and welfare, collaborate and foster business relationships, build community relations.
Economic: advance economically viable farming, encourage high-quality production.
Environmental: address climate change and reduce GHG emissions, conserve forests, encourage water protection, soil health, biodiversity and healthy ecosystems.
The Flagship Farmers Program is expanding globally as we aim to further encourage farmer-to-farmer influence, inspiration and knowledge sharing. We have Flagship Farmers in 15 countries across nine different product groups. The program’s current area of focus is identifying beef farmers and producers from 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 positively impacts the livelihoods and builds the 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 between 2012 and 2016.
“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