CHICAGO — McDonald’s Corp. announced that 100% of the ground and whole bean coffee used in its U.S. restaurants is now sustainably sourced. The coffee is verified sustainable through the company’s McCafe Sustainability Improvement Platform (SIP), developed in partnership with Conservation International, or through sourcing from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms.
McDonald’s has worked with Conservation International to meet its sustainability goals for more than two decades. The two partnered to form McCafe SIP in 2016, with the goal of using 100% sustainably sourced coffee by 2020. At the time, 11% of U.S. retail coffee was sourced sustainably through Rainforest Alliance or McCafe SIP-approved programs.
More than 6,400 farms across five countries benefited from McCafe SIP programs last year. Half a million disease-resistant coffee trees were planted in Mexico’s Chiapas region, while farmers in Peru were trained on fertilizing and water treatment systems to increase yields and protect soil.
In Colombia, more than 3,700 farmers worked with McDonald’s to develop farming methods, plant hundreds of thousands of new trees and reduce water consumption by 36,000 liters. Brazilian farmers participating in SIP programs reported an 80% reduction in agrochemical use and a 10% increase in productivity, according to the company.
“McDonald’s achievement of sustainably sourcing 100% of their coffee shows that sustainability can scale and it’s not just for niche or small businesses,” said M. Sanjayan, Ph.D., chief executive officer at Conservation International. “Today’s milestone is a clear signal to leaders everywhere on what can be achieved if business and conservation work together.”
Sustainably sourced coffee is one part of the company’s larger sustainability push. McDonald’s U.S. announced earlier this year that all classic burgers no longer contain artificial preservatives, flavors or added colors. It also plans to source 100% cage-free eggs in the United States by 2025. A third of the company’s eggs were cage-free this year.