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TheBeefSite Newsletter - 8 January 2014

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TheBeefSite
Wednesday 8th January 2014.
Michael Priestley - Editor

Michael Priestley
Editor


McDonald’s on Track to Purchasing Verified Sustainable Beef

A global fast food chain has committed to source verified sustainable beef from 2016.

McDonald’s has described the announcement as the first step in a process geared towards all burgers coming from sustainable sources.

No figures have been attached to specific volumes of beef or places of origin, but McDonald’s vice president for global sustainability Bob Langert has said the company is now ready to work globally towards the target.

Mr Langert was quoted in GreenBiz as saying: “Our vision is to buy verifiable, sustainable beef in the future for all of our beef… we have achieved internal alignment and energy around that aspirational goal, which is a big task.”

The pledge follows efforts from MacDonald’s Europe that have driven sustainability at farm level.

The McDonald’s Agricultural Assurance Programme (MAAP), started in 2001, allows McDonald’s to benchmark production standards across Europe, while Flagship farming, which arose from MAAP, showcases sustainable livestock and crop production.

Both schemes are run in conjunction with the Food Animal Initiative (FAI), a consultancy organisation responsible for identifying and promoting the best sustainable beef production within the McDonald’s supply chain.

These efforts are part of a sea change in global cattle production, spearheaded by the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRTSB), a multi-stake holder initiative involving the whole supply chain, including McDonald's.

The trend is to promote responsible agriculture from the top down, with large companies assisting producers in sustainable production.

In a global company, this is important, according to Michele Banik-Rake, director of sustainability at McDonald’s.

Describing how the McDonald’s supply chain works, Mrs Banik-Rake said: "The beef industry is large and complex. Different farmers, locations, and parts of the beef supply chain do things according to a variety of local, national, and industry expectations.”

She added that the McDonald’s sustainability programme is providing common ground in a fragmented industry.

Knowledge transfer and producer engagement will remain to be pivotal in verifying sustainable beef at McDonalds, according to FAI Agricultural Consultant Karl Williams.

“Flagship Farms is vital because it shares best practice,” explained Mr Williams. “It is not McDonald’s saying this—it’s the farmers themselves saying this is what we’re doing and this is how we’re doing it.”

John Power, an Irish Cattle farmer from County Waterford, produces grass-based beef for McDonald’s.

Focusing on producing the best grass and genetics, Mr Power has had great results.

“This has allowed us to produce more beef from grass and forage, which is in our view, a very sustainable way of producing quality beef,” said Mr Power.

He added: “When we were selected to become a McDonald’s Flagship Farm I was delighted, and to me this has shown the positive commitment that McDonald’s has in our approach to beef production.”


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This Week's Articles and Analysis

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Market Reports

EBLEX Cattle Weekly - 3 January 2014

Global Beef Industry News

   United States

Cattle Futures: February Live Contracts Close Lower
National Farmers Union Celebrates International Year of Family Farming
Cattle Futures: Bulls Have the Advantage At the Start of the Week
Lighter Cattle Due to Weather and Zilmax Ban
Cattle Outlook: US To Be Potential Buyer of Brazilian Beef?
CME: Cattle Numbers Forecast to Return to Normal
Genomics Test Strategies Explored
What Will Be the Big Ag Issues in 2014?
Cattle Slaughter Down 30 Per Cent Last Week
Crop and Livestock Price Prospects for 2014

   United Kingdom

Europe Must Not Close Doors on Genetic Modification
Wrong Direction for CAP Reforms
CAP Offers New Market Orientation for Farming Sector
Agriculture Needs Science Based Approach to Intensification
Call to Buy British

   Senegal

130,000 Cattle Vaccinated in Reaction to Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia

   France

Cargill Sells French Animal Health Brand

   Russian Federation

Russians Build 62 Beef Units in Altai Region
Mixed Year for Russian Meat Sector
Vets Report Cattle Deaths on Imported Breeding Stock

   Sweden

Local Farm Shops Big Hit With Swedish Farmers

   New Zealand

Argument for Water Storage is Clear Says Federated Farmers
Red Meat Sector Strategy Announces Report
2014 - A Year of Change for Federated Farmers

   Ireland

Early Funding Decision 'Vital' For Low Incomes Farmers
Farmers Association Tackles Factories on Bull Beef Price Cuts

   China

Chinese Food Prices Stay Steady

   European Union

OIE Action Plan on Welfare Validated
EU Feed Production Slightly Increased in 2012

   Argentina

Could Cow Belches Be A New Power Source?

   Mexico

Mexico to Strengthen Cattle Health and Traceability Systems

   Spain

Panama Strengthen Cooperation on Agri-food Matters

   Global

Where Will Beef and Dairy Markets Go in 2014?

   Australia

Livestock Owners Urged to Prepare for Heat
Queensland Cattle Producers Look to Stronger Korean Market

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