UK - Fast food chain McDonalds has launched a new scheme to reduce the carbon footprint of its beef farmer suppliers.
McDonald’s UK supply chain direct Connor McVeigh (pictured) announced the launch the McDonald’s Beef Carbon Report measuring and monitoring carbon emissions from beef production during the National Farmers’ Union Conference in Birmingham.
The company started a study into the carbon emissions from its producers in 2008 and the work has seen them reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 23 per cent at the core farms that were being monitored.
The research together with Alltech E-CO2 developed a business toll for farmers to assess their emissions and indicate ways of reducing them.
Mr McVeigh said that on an annual basis those taking part in the study had reduced emissions by 4.6 per cent compared to an industry average of 0.94 per cent.
The report shows that the beef industry in the UK could achieve the 11 per cent voluntary reduction target set by the government by 2020.
The study made more than 1300 carbon assessments on farms over a six year period with more than 200 farmers.
Mr McVeigh said that to increase the impact of the study McDonald’s had also developed Sustainable Beef Clubs in which the farmers could share individual results.
He said that he carbon footprinting programme is helping farmers to focus on daily weight gain, using protocols to improve animal health and welfare maximising the use of home-grown forage and helping to reduce the calving intervals.
Mr McVeigh said the McDonald’s was also at the forefront in using RSPCA approved products in its restaurants, including RSPCA assured pork.
The company has also introduced new systems of tree cover on its supplier poultry farms that have helped to boost egg productivity and welfare standards on farms and had seen more than half a million trees planted on farms across the UK.
Mr McVeigh concluded: “We need to work with farmers for solutions before they become the priority for our customers.”