McDonald’s aims to ‘collaborate not mandate’ on sustainability

 Resize text         Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

Earlier this year McDonald’s announced its intent to purchase verified sustainable beef beginning in 2016. Bob Langert, McDonald’s Vice President, was on hand in Nashville in February during the Annual Cattle Industry Convention to talk with America’s cattle producers about the company’s sustainability-related goals and to reassure cattlemen and women that McDonald’s intends to collaborate with industry on this project, not mandate new requirements on them. Watch some of what Langert had to say and also some responses from cattlemen about sustainability in the above video.

This is a topic that is not going away, but it doesn’t have to be an “us versus them” issue either because, in my opinion, beef production is sustainable. For example, according to research by the Beef Checkoff Program, between 2005 and 2011, the beef industry has reduced emissions to soil by 7 percent, greenhouse-gas emissions by 2 percent, acidification potential emission by 3 percent, emissions to water by 10 percent, water use by 3 percent, land use by 4 percent, resource consumption and energy use by 2 percent, and occupation accidents and illnesses by 32 percent. Cumulatively, the environmental and social footprint of the beef industry has been reduced by 7 percent in six years.

There's not a single, agreed-to definition yet for what sustainable beef is, but we have an opportunity to have a seat at the table in those discussions. We're producing more beef from fewer animals using fewer resources. We just may have to take a little extra time to write down, document and measure our improvement. In the future, we're going to have to prove it with regard to sustainability in the U.S. beef industry. 

Watch the video, and read more about my thoughts on the topic of sustainability here. Then leave us a comment and let us know what you think. 

Comments (4) Leave a comment 

e-Mail (required)


characters left

Bill Hyatt    
Las Vegas NV  |  May, 19, 2014 at 01:17 PM

One big thing is to go back to growing corn for food animals rather than destroy all internal combustion engines with our leaders alcohol tainted fuel Farm subsidies for this crap gas is costing us all in many ways. Beef will be expensive for at least two years getting back to normal from the weather problems. Al Gore will take the moment to say I told you so but most of the Ranchers are on a restock period. With some good weather it will come back pretty quick. More drought and more BLM land stealing and who knows where we will be.

USA  |  May, 19, 2014 at 04:10 PM

Sustainability used to be a cow having a calf. But new age activists who force their ever-changing definition of sustainability don't shop at McDonald's and they don't eat meat bought anywhere even at Walmart. Their definition of sustainability is a never ending race toward an always moving goal line. Only businesses, not charity, not gov't, are economically self-sufficient. Stakeholder is weasel word that includes NGOs who do not honor the human dignity defined by our sacred individual rights set out in the US Constitution. Vegans are not stakeholders, they are interlopers interfering through the old, illegitimate and discredited idea of communal rights in other people's private businesses and private property. Their brand of central control abolishes private property rights and destroys America's exceptionalism.

usa  |  May, 19, 2014 at 04:18 PM

"Our journey together. For good." Smacks of giving up sacred individual rights for the common good, a concept that Ayn Rand warns brings subhuman misery and enslavement. Look it up. The common good relates to Hegel's attitude of scarcity that breeds brutality we saw in WWII between the Russians and Germans. Jesus taught us to assume the attitude of abundance even in the face of actual scarcity. The attitude of abundance results in love and generosity. Ouor human dignity is tied up in our sacred individual rights set out in the Constitution. However, Hegel's philosophy of brutal mutual coercion was followed by Marx, Stalin Hitler Hardin (The Tragedy of the Commons)(the idea there are too many people on the earth) and Alinsky who dedicated his book to Lucifer.

ok  |  May, 21, 2014 at 01:12 AM

jaime what in the world does any of that have to do with sustainable beef please stay on subject

Scout™ 4WD UTV

Work, play or explore with the Case IH Scout™ utility vehicles. They offer plenty of power, accessories to match any ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Leads to Insight