OUR JOURNEY TO VERIFIED SUSTAINABLE BEEF
McDonald’s aims to begin purchasing verified sustainable beef in 2016 – and we’re on a journey to get there.
According to a new page on the Tha D’s website, they have a three-part plan for sustainable beef:
The Aspirations: Support development of global principles and criteria, developing targets for purchasing verified sustainable beef so that they can begin purchasing verified sustainable beef during 2016
The Vision: Make sure that McDonald’s beef comes from farmers and processors who create economic value and nutritious protein through verifiable and diverse production systems that: 1. Optimize cattle’s impact within ecosystems and nutrient cycles, 2. Positively impact the lives of their employees and the communities in which they operate, and 3. Care for the welfare of the cattle throughout their lives
The Approach: Create principles and criteria for sustainable beef production, identify and test sustainable beef production practices, lead with transparency and engagement and work with suppliers and partners for industry change.
For what its worth, this is definitely interesting on a couple of fronts for me… for one, is there really a definition of “sustainable beef?” I mean, we all kiiiind of know what sustainability means to us (or to me) but McDonald’s is on a whole different level. This is a company, that I’m sure, goes through billions of pounds of meat every year providing meat product to all of their stores. Does it mean that they are going to exclusively source locally? Does it mean that they are going to change the way that they process stuff in their plants? Are they going to change the way that they prepare the meat? Tons of questions here….
You would be surprised, but when you google “sustainable beef” there isn’t a proper wiki page that pops up. Or a specific definition of what it is. But you do get a lot of hits on sustainable beef website and one in particular is an organization called the SBRC or Sustainable Beef Resource Center, a group that The D’s is working with… There is a definition that I found that goes a little something like this:
“Impact on protected wildlife, biodiversity, soil and land quality, water resources usage and quality, deforestation, land use and management, social responsibility, nutritional security and community and financial viability.”
Man, there are some holes in that! And by holes, I don’t mean that its not thorough, but there is a lot of gray area in there to find a definition. But, I like it as a start.
Also, we gotta give The D’s some credit here… I may not eat the food anymore, but I can’t deny that its kind of good. And if they are going sustainable, that begs the question, that the quality of meat HAS TO BE better, right? And if they are using better quality products and they plan on getting to be totally sustainable, that is onnnnly going to shift the entire fast food industry. I think that seeing companies like a CHIPOTLE, a company that McDonalds happened to help blow up by the way, doing the sustainable natural thing, it puts it on their toes. Good for McDonalds, and at the end of the day, good for all of us.
I barely scratched the surface of what The D’s is planning to do, so head over to the OUR JOURNEY page on www.aboutmcdonalds.com