McDonald’s sustainability update

by JulieCraves on March 25, 2016

mcdonalds-logoI have reported previously on McDonald’s efforts to improve coffee supply chain sustainability, part of a larger effort in overall sustainability. In my post “McDonald’s makes a substantial commitment to coffee sustainability”  I provided an overview of 2013 levels of certified coffee and farmer capacity-building partnerships. I also compared the efforts of this company which derives a relatively small portion of income from coffee to that of JM Smucker (owner of Folgers, among other brands) which makes most of its profit from coffee. I gave a brief recap and update later that year.

In their 2014 Good Business corporate responsibility report, McDonald’s declared an “aspirational” goal (versus a commitment, I suppose) of sourcing 100% of their coffee from third-party verified sustainable sources. As of 2014,

  • 32% of their global coffee (22% in the US) is from sustainable sources, including Rainforest Alliance, UTZ, or Fairtrade certified farms. This is through their network of suppliers, as they do not purchase coffee directly. That is an increase from 2012, when those figures were 25% global, 15% US.
  • 100% of caffeinated coffee is Europe is Rainforest Alliance, UTZ, or Fairtrade certified.
  • 100% of coffee in McDonald’s restaurants in Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand is Rainforest Alliance certified.
  • 100% of espresso in the US and Canada is Rainforest Alliance certified.
  • Their grocery store Espresso Roast McCafe at Home brand is 100% Rainforest Alliance certified. The bagged McCafe coffees in grocery stores are roasted by KraftHeinz.  Kraft went through a series of spin-offs and mergers, and retained some coffee operations and brands, including Maxwell House, Gevalia, and Tassimo.

These are significant efforts for a fast food chain and, as noted in my previous posts, more impressive than some coffee companies. Because McDonald’s buys through suppliers that also serve other companies, pushing the suppliers to source more certified coffees should also have positive spillover effects in the larger market.


Revised on November 29, 2020

Posted in Corporate coffee,McDonald's

Viktor Stålenkrans March 29, 2016 at 6:14 am

Thanks for the interested reading. I didn’t know that!

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