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McDonald’s Canada concludes sustainable beef pilot

The successful conclusion of McDonald’s Verified Sustainable Beef Pilot marks a major milestone in the chain’s collaborative partnership with the Canadian beef industry over the past 30 months


McDonald’s Canada has announced the successful conclusion of its Verified Sustainable Beef Pilot, marking a major milestone of its collaborative partnership with the Canadian beef industry over the past 30 months to advance more sustainable beef practices, and supporting the global company’s broader aspirational goal to source all of its food and packaging sustainably.

As one of the country’s largest Canadian beef purchasers, McDonald’s Canada tracked the journey of nearly 9,000 head of Canadian cattle, or the equivalent of 2.4 million patties through the pilot project. The cattle spent their entire lives, from “birth to burger,” raised on or handled by verified sustainable operations.

According to a press release from McDonald’s Canada, the pilot has successfully demonstrated that not only can sustainable practices and outcomes be verified through the entire Canadian beef supply chain (from farm to processing), but cattle from verified sustainable beef operations can also be tracked through these operations.

As one of the country's largest Canadian beef purchasers, McDonald's Canada, through its Verified Sustainable Beef Pilot, tracked the journey of nearly 9,000 head of Canadian cattle, or the equivalent of 2.4 million patties. (CNW Group/McDonald's Canada)

As one of the country’s largest Canadian beef purchasers, McDonald’s Canada, through its Verified Sustainable Beef Pilot, tracked the journey of nearly 9,000 head of Canadian cattle, or the equivalent of 2.4 million patties. (CNW Group/McDonald’s Canada)

The Verified Sustainable Beef Pilot Project in Canada is the first program to make the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) principles and criteria actionable across the entire beef value chain.

“As a progressive burger company, we are changing the way we source and serve food in our restaurants. We have an important role in helping build a more sustainable food system globally through initiatives such as the sustainable beef pilot in Canada and we’re committed to continuing this important work around the world,” says Steve Easterbrook, president and CEO, McDonald’s Corporation.

“The Canadian beef industry is one of the best in the world and McDonald’s Canada remains committed to serving our guests only 100-per-cent Canadian beef. The Pilot has demonstrated the remarkable progress and success that can come when industry and ranchers work together towards a more sustainable future,” adds John E. Betts, president and CEO, McDonald’s Canada.

In celebration of the Pilot’s wrap-up, executives from McDonald’s, World Wildlife Fund U.S. and members of the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) met with Pilot participants, industry stakeholders and elected officials to share the progress that has been made towards verifying a sustainable beef supply. In addition to discussing the outcomes of the program, the Pilot’s findings were officially handed over to the CRSB who has responsibility for mapping the path forward for verified sustainable beef in Canada.

“The McDonald’s Pilot has provided us with new insights that will support our thinking and direction as we advance existing and new sustainability efforts within the Canadian beef industry,” says Cherie Copithorne-Barnes, rancher and Chair of the CRSB.


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