The pilot, which was launched in May and will last for a year, will help develop a programme for sustainable beef verification in Canada. McDonald’s has committed to begin buying an (as yet unquantified) portion of its beef from verified sustainable sources in 2016.
Canadian beef producers taking part are completing a self-assessment of their practices, which will then be verified by third-party auditors from Where Food Comes From.
The first wave of on-site verifications began in May 2015 and verifications will carry on until March 2016. The pilot project will conclude in April 2016, after which findings from the project will be shared with the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) as part of its work as it develops a programme for sustainable beef verification across Canada.
As well as the 100 ranchers who have registered to take part, 19 have nearly completed the assessment and audit, and a further seven are scheduling their audits.
On 9 June, executives from McDonald’s and Cargill, along with members from the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) toured two Alberta ranches that have completed the third-party process.
A McDonald’s spokeswoman said the commitment to source some sustainable beef in 2016 was "part of its broader aspirational goal to source all of its food and packaging sustainably".