Sustainability Honour for Cargill's Chicken

US - McDonald's has honoured Cargill with seven 'Best of Sustainable Supply' awards, recognising the company's projects to help reduce environmental impacts, improve sustainability and enable farmers and rural communities to prosper.
calendar icon 4 April 2014
clock icon 4 minute read

McDonald’s, one of Cargill’s largest global customers, has honoured the company with seven 'Best of Sustainable Supply' awards, including two category winners for community impact and economics. McDonald’s bestows the awards to recognize outstanding supplier leadership in helping provide a safe, sustainable and assured supply of food and products for its customers, and to encourage the sharing of best practices in sustainability.

Pete Richter, head of Cargill’s McDonald’s Business Unit, said: “We strive every day to help our customers achieve their goals, including helping them deliver more sustainable products, services and solutions.

“The seven projects honored today range from work we do in direct partnership with McDonald’s to initiatives we lead as we make corporate responsibility integral to our day-to-day operations.”

The Cargill projects recognised by McDonald’s are helping reduce environmental impacts, improving sustainability and enabling farmers and rural communities to prosper. They include:

  • Raising yields of canola per acre to fulfill McDonald’s requirements for high-oleic canola oil
  • Establishing Indonesia’s first palm oil teaching farm
  • Implementing renewable energy sources in chicken housing to reduce the housing’s carbon footprint while improving animal health
  • Helping cocoa farmers implement sustainable practices, improve production and quality and earn better prices
  • Collaborating with World Wildlife Fund to boost corn production while protecting environmentally sensitive lands in Northeast China’s Jilin province
  • Setting environmental targets for stevia cultivation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, water use and waste and ensure Truvia® stevia is not grown on conservation or protected lands
  • Working with CARE to reduce hunger, increase farmer productivity and improve children’s education.

These seven Cargill projects were among 51 honoured by McDonald’s with its 2014 Best of Sustainable Supply awards.

In Europe, green technologies in chicken housing improve animal welfare

Litter quality in housing facilities can strongly influence a chicken’s leg health, according to Cargill.

They wondered whether green technologies offer better solutions for keeping litter in a drier, more friable state that positively impacts animal welfare?

It turns out that they do, says Cargill. As part of a wide range of trials and research activities, a team in its European poultry business conducted an evaluation involving more than two dozen chicken houses in the UK and France to measure the effect of advanced renewable technologies.

They investigated the impact of switching to renewable, indirect biomass heating sources outside the houses and the use of heat exchangers to recover energy. They explored whether this technology linked with 'reverse flow' ventilation systems - fans in the roof with side-wall air inlets - provided additional benefits.

At the end of the day, it was clear that the chickens’ leg health was improved. And analysis of energy usage confirmed that the renewable technologies reduced the carbon footprint of the chicken houses by around 30 per cent.

Happier birds, happier planet, commented Cargill.

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