McDonald’s works the Supply Chain
Posted on March 18, 2011 by derek
Most of my friends know that I don’t eat McDonald’s (or any fast food) anymore. I’ve only eaten a Mc Anything twice in the past year, ordered Domino’s once, and tried freshness burger a month ago – and those can be classified under “unique circumstances”. Even when McDonald’s did that 1 for 1 day thing in Singapore, that got everyone going nuts on twitter, I didn’t even get the least bit excited.
Now, my current rejection of this cultural phenomenon did not happen overnight. It was a gradual thing that stemmed from all the stuff that I’ve read till now, when it doesn’t ever show up in my decision process of “what do I want to eat”.
If you would ask me “why” (like most people do, with disbelief in their eyes), here are some decidedly good enough reasons:
- My health, and stuff like this, and this (those who bought 40 McNuggets a few weeks ago ought to read these)
- The overall grossness of plastic tasting, overly processed and preserved food
- Sustainability concerns (like retarded amounts of packaging), and them not replying my questions about such concerns
- Oh yes, and my stomach tends to react badly to fast food nowadays
As much as I don’t want anything to with McDonald’s, I really cannot ignore an article like this – McDonald’s does feed a few hundred million people a day, and it’d be a serious good thing if they could do this cleanly (not minding the above cited reasons).
From Fast Company (link to full article):
McDonald’s started looking at its supply chain impact in 2009. As part of a partnership with the World Wildlife Fund, the fast food chain invited in the nonprofit for an unfettered look at what McDonald’s buys, how much it purchases, and who it buys from. The WWF performed a detailed analysis, and came up with the five categories listed above as a starting point. “This year is mostly about goals and targets,” says Bob Langert, VP of Corporate Responsibility at McDonald’s.
The top priority for McDonald’s is cleaning up the beef supply chain. “Beef has its fair share of impacts on the world, and we have a role to play to reduce its impact. We have done a carbon footprint analysis, and beef rises to the top as the number one priority,” says Langert. In concrete terms, that means keeping track of and reducing CO2 emissions from farms, as well as developing a program to trace and certify sustainable beef in the Amazon to make sure that no beef from deforested areas is used.
McDonald’s next priority is the poultry supply chain, and more specifically, the impact of poultry feed on rainforest destruction. ” The impacts of how animal feed like soya is grown and raised is almost equal to the impact of the animal itself,” explains Langert. McDonald’s has already committed to a moratorium on soya purchased from deforested areas in the Amazon. The company is still trying to figure out next steps.
Most of McDonald’s goals are still being formulated–the most comprehensive goal this far is for palm oil (the company plans to use only certified sustainable palm oil by 2015). And foodies hoping for the chain to start using only local, grass-fed organic beef should look elsewhere. But whenever a gigantic corporation like McDonald’s shifts its food policies in the right direction, attention must be paid.
Am I going to start “loving it” again? I’ll think about it.