The Wendy's Company announced an industry-leading step that will allow the company to better understand and communicate how cattle for Wendy's fresh beef hamburgers are raised, facilitating advancements in areas such as animal care, antibiotics and sustainability.
The news headlines Wendy's annual update on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and sustainability initiatives spanning Food, Family and Community.
Wendy's is the first restaurant chain to partner with the Progressive Beef program, an innovative animal care and sustainability program that is built on industry-leading best practices and third-party verification. Adoption of this program will be implemented in a significant part of its beef supply starting in 2019, with at least 50 percent by 2021, further delivering on Wendy's commitment to enhanced beef supply chain accountability, transparency and traceability. The program focuses on three core areas:
- Cattle Care: providing a safe, humane environment for cattle through staff training on management practices and hands-on veterinary care
- Food Safety and Antibiotic Use: responsibly using antibiotics under the supervision of a veterinarian and with thorough record-keeping, strictly adhering to withdrawal times, utilizing HACCP principles and ensuring a clean and safe environment for the animals
- Environmental Sustainability: responsibly utilizing natural resources while investing in the people who care for the cattle and the local communities through staff training and certification
Efforts in these areas are verified by USDA-approved auditors. Each audit is a report card, and the metrics involved play a key role in finding and making improvements.
Beyond finalizing the new partnership with Progressive Beef, Wendy's has made progress on existing commitments related to its beef supply chain. In 2018, Wendy's fulfilled its commitment to source 100 percent of its beef from Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certified sources– hitting this milestone a year ahead of schedule. Wendy's also sourced nearly 20 percent of its beef from producers who have each tracked and reduced their use of medically important antibiotics. Wendy's is committed to continuing our work quantifying antibiotic use in our supply chain and further reducing use of antibiotics where possible.
Wendy's also regularly consults with outside experts from academia, animal agriculture, and veterinary medicine to support animal care and welfare decisions, and this year they expanded the council to include more external professionals. For more about Wendy's Animal Welfare Program and Council, click here.