The Year of the Burger?

The beef on sustainability.

The Year of the Burger?

McDonald’s is an industry giant with more than 33 000 restaurants worldwide. So its unsettled other industry players with its recent announcement to begin purchasing ‘verified sustainable’ beef by 2016.

Where’s the controversy in that? The chain and the industry as a whole has no working definition of what ‘sustainable beef’ means. Yet, it is a definition that will impact the entire industry.

The food giant and other industry stakeholders like environmental groups, suppliers and retailers have formed the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) to discuss issues such as traceability, ecosystem and nutrient cycle conservation.

With McDonald’s shaping the new definition, how will other chains adjust?

  • 75  per second – The number of McDonald’s burgers sold across the world.
  • $44 billion – The size of the US cattle industry.
  • 19,6 billion kgs – The amount of beef produced in the US annually.


Tracy Lee Nicol
About the Author
Tracy-Lee Nicol is the managing editor of Franchise Zone Magazine and deputy editor of Entrepreneur Magazine. She studied her Masters degree in Art History and Visual Culture at Rhodes University and spent the next two years working and travelling in Asia. Her love of people, business and teaching is reflected in telling the stories of entrepreneurs, franchisees and franchisors, inspiring others to take the leap to being their own boss and bringing about positive change in South Africa.

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