McDonald’s CEO says farmers are part of the conversation

McDonald's president and CEO Don Thompson speaks at the 2014 Purdue Ag Alumni Fish Fry.McDonald’s president and CEO Don Thompson says there are three trends that are driving their business today.  Those are transparency, food quality, and sustainability.

Earlier this year, McDonald’s announced by the year 2016 they planned to only purchase “verified sustainable beef”.

As they work on their “Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef,” Thompson says the best way to address the issue is to bring all parties to the table.  “The shots across the bow just don’t do anything,” he says.  “If we want to make substantial change and really move forward in sustainability – and for us, really focusing on as we talked about today, the strategic sourcing aspect of it, the food quality and transparency levels of it – if we want to move all of those things forward, it’s going to take all of us sitting at the table.”

He tells Brownfield farmers are a large part of that conversation, too.  “In the UK today, we have a much deeper down into the farm, farm education program,” he says.  “We’re really doing some things.  We’ve almost, I don’t want to say adopted farmers and farms, but it’s at that level where the interaction is that strong.  For some of the other markets, a market like the US, we really leverage some of our suppliers and producers and their relationships with local farmers.”

Thompson made his remarks at the Purdue Ag Alumni Fish Fry on Saturday.

AUDIO: Don Thompson, McDonald’s CEO (4:00mp3)

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