Arcos Dorados, (NYSE: ARCO), the world’s largest independent McDonald’s franchisee, today announced it will expand its program of purchasing sustainably produced beef. To date, the Company has quadrupled the amount of protein derived through this livestock model since Arcos had established this objective three years ago.
This announcement was made by Mr. Gabriel Serber, Arcos Dorados’ Director of Sustainable Development and Social Impact, at the first ever Latin America Sustainable Beef Vision Summit. The summit was a three-day event sponsored by the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) hosted at McDonald's Hamburger University in São Paulo, Brazil. “We have a long-standing global commitment to sustainability, which we call our Scale for Good. Scale for Good is divided into five key subject areas: Child Nutrition, Sustainable Beef, Packaging and Recycling, Climate Change, and Opportunities and Training for Youth Employment. This initiative therefore reinforces Arcos Dorados’ strategy to leverage our scale in order to positively impact our communities and the planet. Our goal of progressively increasing the consumption of sustainable beef is one of the many ways we can drive change while positively influencing the market,” commented Mr. Serber.
To be considered a sustainable livestock production field, Companies must follow international best practice. These conditions include establishing zero-deforestation plans, eliminating locations in protected or indigenous areas, not using slave or child labor, and complying with regular verification audits by external entities. In addition, they must meet those criteria established by GTPS, the Brazilian Roundtable on Sustainable Livestock, which is an organization comprised of representatives from various sectors that make up the value chain of cattle production in Brazil. Together, Arcos Dorados’ work focuses on maintaining biodiversity while increasing overall efficiency and productivity; to yield more production within the same amount of land while respecting ethical, human and environmental aspects and promoting animal welfare practices.
“Sustainability has always been on Arcos Dorados’ agenda," continued Mr. Serber. The Company played a key leadership role in the creation of the GRSB in 2011, which has been tasked with establishing global principles and criteria for sustainable beef. Arcos has also focused on encouraging its supplier network to meet the criteria defined by the Sustainable Livestock Working Group. “An example of our commitment is our Company’s continued support of Pecsa, or ‘Amazon Sustainable Cattle Ranching’, a cattle ranching management and partnership firm founded in June 2015 focused on the Alta Floresta region of Mato Grosso state in Brazil, whose mission is to transform cattle ranching in the Amazon into a sustainable business through initiatives ranging from mechanization to more effective methods of product tracking,” he added.
“Social, economic and environmental well-being throughout Latin America have historically been a priority for Arcos Dorados. This has been evidenced by the many certifications our Company has received from leading business organizations, such as from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) for our McFish fish, from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) for our packaging, and from the Rainforest Alliance for the coffee we serve. We are proud to have been pioneers in sustainable development and continue to encourage the same from our industry overall,” Mr. Serber stated.
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