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McDonald’s vows to strengthen farming practices

McDonald’s vows to strengthen farming practices

Fast food giant McDonald’s has reinforced its commitment to sustainable beef supply standards and practices one year after the horse meat scandal began. The company claims it aims to strengthen industry farming practices.

According to Keith Kenny, senior director of Mcdonald’s European supply chain, the company was not implicated in the affair because of its stringent supply chain practices.

He said: “Beef is the most iconic item on our menu. Our core beef sandwich patties are made from 100 per cent high quality beef, which is sourced from EU approved abattoirs that must also comply with the additional quality, safety and welfare standards required by McDonald’s.”

Mr Kenny said the fast food retailer had implemented strict controls and practices throughout its supply chain, such as detailed product and raw material specifications and full traceability via its Supplier Quality Management System.

The company also works hard to cultivate long term relationships with its suppliers, the senior director added. 

He believes McDonald’s wants to go further, advising: “There has been no widely agreed definition of what sustainable beef looks like. 

“However, through the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Platform, the industry has come together to establish Principles for Sustainable Beef Farming that we can all support.”

The next step for the company is to develop practices that help farmers meet the principles. Mr Kenny says McDonald’s will continue to align its work with the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef.

He says the firm will carry on leveraging its position within the wider beef industry to help drive the sector’s common journey to sustainability. It will develop an assured, trusted and maintainable beefy supply for the company and its customers.

Speaking at an Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) select committee on January 8th, Chris Elliott said: “McDonald’s invited us to look at farms and abattoirs – it was a very simple supply chain.

“The other thing I was very impressed about was the length of contract McDonald’s had with its suppliers.”

He said that he had come across contracts lasting for as little as 16 weeks, but the fast food giant had contracts with suppliers that had been in place for years.

 

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