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Agriculture and Fisheries

Rising demand for agricultural production to meet food, fiber, and now fuel demands of growing global populations is increasing pressure on natural resources and creating new challenges for both public and private sector leaders. The food and agriculture sector is already working to resolve existing sustainability hurdles related to water pollution, excess withdrawal and inefficient water use, soil degradation and other issues. Reducing these impacts while producing more food on the same amount of land globally is essential to preventing further loss of natural habitat to agricultural conversion. Balancing conservation of biodiversity and natural resources with the growing demands on agriculture will require constructive engagement by public and private sector leaders to find solutions that work for business and the environment.

Towards a Solution
In 2002, CI and McDonald’s launched an initiative to examine how McDonald’s, with more than 30,000 restaurants in 120 countries, could encourage use of best practices throughout its global supply chains by building incentives for improved environmental stewardship into supply chain management systems. McDonald’s and CI joint work in this area focused on fisheries and agricultural-based food supply chains.

Sustainable Supply Chain System Guidelines: McDonald’s Sustainable Supply Chain System provides a framework for communicating its sustainability vision and goals to suppliers. CI worked with McDonald’s to develop the guidelines for agricultural based food products. These guidelines address natural resource concerns such as soil, water, biodiversity, waste, energy usage, and management of chemical inputs and also include employee health and welfare, economic profitability, and animal welfare.

Environmental Scorecard: The scorecard is a tool for McDonald’s suppliers that links performance indicators to relevant environmental guidelines. The scorecard does not prescribe adoption of specific practices. Rather, it is intended as a tool for suppliers to measure and report upon performance related to a particular guideline. Following development of the tool, McDonald’s and CI worked with direct-relationship suppliers for beef, poultry, pork, potatoes, and bakery products to test the scorecard process. The pilot test began in early 2004 using 2003 data from 12 supplier facilities in 5 countries. Comparison of 2004 performance data against 2003 baseline showed positive results with reductions in water consumption, energy use, and waste generation. McDonald’s has now begun roll-out and use of the scorecard in its top markets around the world.

Assessment of Global Whitefish Fisheries: This initiative investigated levels of important whitefish stocks and provided a foundation for McDonald’s, their suppliers, and other industry members to identify appropriate actions that can protect and enhance marine biodiversity while ensuring viable long-term suppliers of whitefish.

Fisheries Evaluation Tool: Following the global whitefish assessment, CI worked together with McDonald’s and their suppliers to develop a science-based tool to facilitate evaluation of fisheries sustainability. The resulting Sustainable Fisheries Guidelines and Fisheries Evaluation Tool rates fisheries according to a simple “stop light” model of red, yellow, green system based on three key criteria: fishery management quality, fish stock status, and marine environment and biodiversity conservation. The system is designed to help identify areas for improvement in fisheries management and related marine conservation and provides McDonald’s with a sustainability snapshot for key source fisheries. The Fisheries Guidelines and Evaluation Tool were rolled out globally in 2005. McDonald’s has since shifted more than 18,000 metric tons of fish purchases away from fisheries facing sustainability problems.


© CI, Fulvio Eccardi
Fisherman. Mexico.



Partnership Timeline (pdf, 61kb)
Supply Chain Engagement Strategy, (pdf, 602kb)

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 Photo credits for banner image: (Fields) © CI