Two sustainable beef integration programmes have been established to demonstrate the key principles of sustainable beef production.
The programs are being run on farms that supply beef to ANZCO Foods and Silver Fern Farms.
The NZ program has received $US50,000 investment from the Chicago-based McDonald’s Corporation, Patrick Wilson, McDonald’s NZ MD, said.
Learnings from the beef pilot would be scaled out to other parts of the McDonald’s supply chain.
Sustainability is a top priority for NZ beef and sheep farmers, Scott Champion, Beef + Lamb NZ CEO, said.
“New Zealand farmers take great care of their land, and pride in the quality products they deliver. This sustainability programme will highlight a range of best practice activity, starting on the farm and following right through to the McDonald’s customer,” he said.
“The programme will work with farmers and processors to identify and develop good management practices that support sustainable beef production. This means sustainable production systems, lower inputs, use of new technologies and the highest levels of animal welfare.”
An important element of the program was the use of real farm businesses to model the principles, said Champion.
The success of the program would then be demonstrated to the wider farming community through workshops, field days and social media.
The partnership allows McDonald’s NZ to achieve the goal of purchasing verified sustainable beef, through collaboration with stakeholders such as Beef + Lamb NZ, Silver Fern Farms and ANZCO Foods, Wilson said.
The move aligns McDonald’s NZ with the sustainability goals of McDonald’s worldwide.
Wilson said that beef is McDonald’s most iconic ingredient, with almost five million kilograms of beef sourced from local suppliers in 2013.
He said that local producers also exported 32 million kilograms of beef to other McDonald’s markets around the world.