Food Engineering

McDonald's announces sustainable beef initiative

No standards for sustainable beef have been defined, but an organization has been established to do so.

January 14, 2014

McDonald's says it will source sustainable beef by 2016

McDonald’s announced it will begin purchasing sustainable beef for its burgers in 2016—as soon as it develops the criteria for sustainability. It aims to do so under the auspices of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, a body established in 2011 made up of “leading organizations from within the beef industry, environmental branch, retailers and others with a close interest in the industry.”

According a release from the Roundtable, criteria will include labor and workers’ rights; the well-being of animals in various management systems; food safety, nutrition and food security; the well-being of local communities; energy conservation; air, soil and water quality; and the reduction of waste.

McDonald’s Vice President of Global Sustainability Bob Langert told GreenBiz.com that the company isn’t able to commit to a specific percentage of sustainably sourced beef in 2016, but added, “Our vision is to buy verifiable, sustainable beef in the future for all our beef. We have achieved internal alignment and energy around that aspirational goal, which is a big task.”