McDonald's promotes sustainable regenerative agriculture
As consumers increasingly favor environmentally-friendly and sustainable catering options, leading catering chains are on the move to ensure their natural and fresh food supply.
McDonald's China said it is offering training for over 2,000 key farmers and agricultural management staff to promote regenerative agricultural practices in the supply chain.
It's also planning to establish 10 pilot farms over the next five years to promote knowledge, experience and practices of regenerative agriculture and demonstrate the impacts and benefits of the concept.
Chinese consumers are nearly twice as likely as global respondents to pay a higher than average price for a product that is traceable or has a transparent origin, according to a PwC study last year which covered over 9,000 consumers in 25 countries and regions.
As many as 45 percent respondents in China are willing to buy products made from recyclable, sustainable or environmentally-friendly materials.
Regenerative agriculture involves the conservation and restoration of agricultural production systems, promoting soil health and enhancing the resilience of agricultural systems against climate change, explained Li Yu'e, a professor at the Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development in Agriculture of the Chinese Academy Of Agricultural Sciences.
"It's essential to use these technologies to avoid soil degradation, reduce pollution and achieve the recycling of agricultural waste," she added.
The new initiative will be jointly promoted by nine major suppliers including Cargill, Tyson, Sunner Group, Simplot and McCain Foods.
McDonald's China procures about 300 ingredients from local markets every year, and over two thirds are supplied by the nine firms.
Within five years, the main food ingredient categories of McDonald's China will be covered by the regenerative agriculture plan, such as potatoes and chicken.
It's important to scale up the concept into actionable programs and to mobilize suppliers to also work with their partners and customers as well, McDonald's China Chief Executive Officer Phyllis Cheung commented.