The Cargill Canadian Beef Sustainability Acceleration pilot builds on learnings from the McDonald’s beef sustainability pioneering effort completed in 2016, in which nearly 9,000 cattle were tracked through the entire supply chain.
The new pilot is designed to test – for the first time – the standards and guidance developed by the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef. Cargill is a founding member of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef and its Canadian and U.S. offshoots, and is the largest beef processor in Canada.
During the year-long pilot, a variety of technologies will be explored, such as DNA testing and blockchain – a shared, continually reconciled, decentralized and highly accountable Internet database tool – to determine their long-term value.
Cargill customers initially participating in this pilot include McDonald’s Canada, Loblaw Companies Limited and the Swiss Chalet Rotisserie and Grill restaurant unit of Vaughan, Ontario-based CARA Operations Ltd. Only Canadian cattle, starting with animals processed at Cargill’s High River, Alberta, facility, will be used.
“Ever-more-frequently, our retail and restaurant customers ask us questions about where Canadian beef comes from and how the cattle are raised,” said Gurneesh Bhandal, Cargill’s beef sustainability manager based in Toronto. “Consumer research tells us there is a thirst for this type of information. We have been listening and learning, and our yearlong 2017-2018 sustainability pilot will help create the infrastructure needed to implement the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef’s standard in our supply chain, providing our customers and consumers with an increased level of trust in the beef they purchase and eat.
“We want this to be the best possible model for beef from verified sustainable sources in Canada, and we are energized about the potential benefits for stakeholders across the entire beef value chain,” added Bhandal. “Any technology that could potentially make this process better for the Canadian beef value chain will be considered.”