NewStream Farm Animal Care, Volume 2, Edition 11
McDonald's looks to Canada for 'verified sustainable beef'
Posted: June 20, 2014
Updated animal welfare standards and industry buy-in seen as key factors
McDonald's has set the beef industry buzzing with the announcement of its new commitment to source "verified sustainable beef" by 2016.
The pledge has taken on a distinctly Canadian component with the burger giant subsequently holding major discussions with Canadian Cattlemen's Association (CCA), Alberta Beef Producers and other key industry players, and advancing the country as potentially the first to begin supplying the product.
The official word from McDonald's is encouraging on its approach to industry collaboration: "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."
Canadian leadership drives decision
Important factors on the decision to get the ball rolling in Canada are believed to be the local industry's programs related to environment, animal welfare and sustainability in general.
On the animal care file, Canada's beef producers were the first to develop a Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Beef Cattle in the 1990s. The CCA participated in the rigorous review process to update the new Code released in 2013. Among other key initiatives, CCA has also long championed the Verified Beef Production program — Canada's verified on-farm food safety program for beef, which is in the process of considering new program modules.
As has been well documented, McDonald's is one among many global food and retail brands clearly stepping up language, initiatives and industry engagement on farm animal care in recent years.
Watch more on the latest developments and reaction in future editions of NewStream Farm Animal Care. Learn more on the McDonald's website. Get more on Verified Beef Production here, and on the new Beef Code of Practice here.