McDonald's joins local beef industry to educate public about sustainability

WINNIPEG - McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada has joined forces with a local industry group to launch a new program aimed at improving the sustainability and profitability of the local beef industry.

Under its new partnership agreement with Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives Inc. (MBFI), McDonald’s will provide $25,000 to help fund producer outreach services and tours of three MBFI research sites in the Brandon area.

"MBFI is committed to improving the public’s knowledge of the critical role the beef industry plays in sustaining both the Manitoba economy and in managing valuable ecosystems,’ said MBFI president Ramona Blyth.

"Advancing and understanding the long-term profitability and sustainability connections for Manitoba’s beef producers will be enhanced via this partnership with McDonald’s Canada,’ Blyth added.

The new partnership also makes sense for McDonald’s because it’s already involved in a sustainable-beef pilot project in Canada.

"McDonald’s Canada sources 100 per cent Canadian beef from farms and ranches across the country for our hamburger patties, and we’re proud to continue our support for producers as part of the MBFI initiative,’ said Jeffrey Fitzpatrick-Stilwell, the company’s senior manager of sustainability.

"We have a vision for sourcing all our food from sustainable sources, and partnerships with the MBFI help us on our journey as we learn from important research happening on the farm.’

MBFI is a collaboration between Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP), Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, the Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association, and Ducks Unlimited Canada. It was formed last year to help advance the province’s beef and forage industry.

"McDonald’s Canada has shown a great deal of interest in our commitment toward enhancing the profitability of beef and forage production by evaluating foundational research to the ranch level and transferring the knowledge gained to producers,’ said MBP general manager Melinda German. "This program partnership will be a very important component of communicating the exact values of what we are doing to numerous audiences.’

— staff

Originally printed Feb. 6 in Winnipeg Free Press