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Exclusive: Inside McDonald’s quest for sustainable beef

Exclusive: Inside McDonald's quest for sustainable beefToday, McDonald’s announces that it will begin purchasing verified sustainable beef in 2016, the first step on a quest to purchase sustainable beef for all of its burgers worldwide. Behind McDonald’s lofty ambitions is a complex story that has been unfolding over the past several years. It involves engaging the global beef industry, from ranchers and feedlots to restaurants and supermarkets, as well as environmental groups, academics and the McDonald’s senior executive team. I watched the story unfold for much of 2013 and recently interviewed nearly a dozen McDonald’s executives, one of the company’s largest beef suppliers and its principal NGO partner on this initiative, along with other industry experts. The story is remarkable not just because of its scope and scale, but also as a case study on what it takes to nudge a large and entrenched industry toward sustainability in today’s global marketplace. (Sustainable beef will be the topic of a plenary panel at our upcoming GreenBiz Forum, featuring several people in this article.) “Our vision is to buy verifiable, sustainable beef in the future for all of our beef,” said Bob Langert, McDonald’s vice president, global sustainability. “We have achieved internal alignment and energy around that aspirational goal, which is a big task,” he told me during a November visit to the company’s headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill. More…

News selected by Covalence | Country: Global | Company: McDonald’s | Source:

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