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McDonald's USA, McDonald's Canada, And Their Franchisees Will Invest Over $6.5M In Agricultural Technical Assistance Program As Part Of Efforts To Increase Coffee Sustainability

Multi-year investment by McDonald's USA, McDonald's Canada and their franchisees in coffee farming and trading program complements McDonald's USA's espresso supply certification

Published 03-04-13

Submitted by McDonald's Corporation

To promote the environmental, ethical and economic long-term sustainability of coffee supplies, McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD) announced today McDonald’s USA, McDonald’s Canada and their franchisees are investing over $6.5 million over four-and-a-half years in a technical assistance program to help approximately 13,000 coffee farmers in Central America produce and process more sustainably. McDonald’s USA, McDonald’s Canada and their franchisees are collaborating with leading international organizations to train small holder coffee producers to strengthen the environmental sustainability of their farms and businesses, and increase the productivity and prosperity of their communities. The investment in farmer technical assistance complements the recent certification requirement McDonald’s USA has made of its suppliers to source only 100% Rainforest Alliance certified espresso.

“We are confident that investing in both certification and sustainable agriculture training addresses the immediate need to assist farmers today, expands capacity for greater sustainable coffee production in the future and helps assure our customers we will continue to provide the taste profile they have grown to love and expect from McDonald’s,” said Susan Forsell, McDonald's vice president of sustainability.

Working with TechnoServe, a nonprofit organization that develops business solutions to poverty, and the Sustainable Commodity Assistance Network (SCAN), a global, UN-backed collaboration providing sustainability technical assistance, McDonald’s USA and its franchisees have been supporting the technical assistance program incorporating sustainable agricultural and extension practices in Guatemala since 2011.

“The program empowers farmers to implement practices that deliver higher yields that contribute to individual livelihoods and the local economy, while simultaneously protecting the environment for future generations,” said TechnoServe Senior Vice President, David Browning. “Higher yields translate into higher incomes that will help farmers to break the cycle of poverty and invest in better health care and education for their children.”

McDonald’s efforts to increase coffee sustainability are part of the company’s ongoing commitment to sustainable sourcing, which was also highlighted when McDonald’s USA announced in January that it would serve Marine Stewardship Council-certified Alaska Pollock in its US restaurants.

Consistent with the company’s global commitment to increase purchases of verified (or certified) sustainable raw materials across its supply chain, McDonald’s is working to increase the amount of certified coffee purchased globally. McDonald’s USA’s suppliers have sourced high-grown, Arabica bean coffee for McDonald’s national McCafe® Premium Roast Coffee blend and espresso blend from countries like Colombia, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Brazil and Sumatra. As of February 2013, McDonald’s USA requires its suppliers to source 100% Rainforest Alliance certified coffees for its espresso. In Canada, 100% of Canada’s espresso coffee is certified sustainable by a third party. In addition, a portion of McDonald’s global coffee supply is certified by the Rainforest Alliance, UTZ Certified and Fair Trade USA.

McDonald’s will educate customers and employees about the company’s commitment to coffee sustainability as part of efforts to broaden the dialogue about important issues like sustainable sourcing, as well as demonstrate McDonald’s commitment to quality, sustainably sourced menu options.

For more information about McDonald’s sustainable sourcing practices visit:

About McDonald's USA
McDonald's USA, LLC, is the leading foodservice provider in the United States offering a variety of foods made with quality ingredients to more than 25 million customers day. Nearly 90 percent of McDonald's 14,000 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by local businessmen and women. Customers can now log online for free at any of the 11,500 participating Wi-Fi enabled McDonald's U.S. restaurants. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter (@McDonalds) and Facebook ( for updates on our business, promotions and menu items.

About McDonald’s Canada
McDonald’s is the leading foodservice company in the world. McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Limited and its Canadian franchisees own and operate more than 1,400 restaurants and employ more than 80,000 Canadians coast-to-coast. Approximately 80 per cent of McDonald’s Canadian restaurants are locally owned and operated by independent entrepreneurs. For more information about McDonald’s Canada, visit the company’s website at

About TechnoServe
TechnoServe works with enterprising people in the developing world to build competitive farms, businesses and industries. We are a nonprofit organization that develops business solutions to poverty by linking people to information, capital and markets. Our work is rooted in the idea that given the opportunity, hardworking men and women in even the poorest places can generate income, jobs and wealth for their families and communities. With more than four decades of proven results, we believe in the power of private enterprise to transform lives.

About the Sustainable Commodities Assistance Network - SCAN
SCAN is an international capacity building platform aimed at providing customized, needs-based technical assistance to producers wishing to adopt sustainable practices and enter sustainable markets. Our partners are key global standard-setters, technical assistance institutions, and UN agencies. The SCAN partners work jointly to implement a global, generic technical assistance network that mobilizes an increased number of organizations to provide support services to producers. Our goal is to build capacity in small producers’ organizations, enabling them to enter sustainable markets to improve their lives and their communities.

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McDonald's Corporation

McDonald's Corporation

McDonald's is the world's leading global food service retailer with more than 35,000 locations serving approximately 70 million customers in more than 100 countries each day. More than 80% of McDonald's restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local business men and women.

To learn more about the company's sustainability initiatives, please visit and follow us on Facebook ( and Twitter (

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