McDonald's to launch new carbon baselining project

1 November 2023
An article by  Jackson Hewett  | Words by Person Name  | Photography by Person Name


A new carbon baselining project titled 'Tassie to Townsville' will see the fast-food giant work with cattle farmers to understand carbon emissions and work on 'interventions'.

Speaking on the second day of the National Farmers Federation conference, the senior director for supply chain at McDonald's, Tom Mahony, said he sees a "really close link between the sustainability work that we're doing and actually ensuring that we have a resilient supply chain."

Mr Mahony said McDonald's would work with emissions tracking startup Ruminati to conduct a series of trials along the east coast.

"We're getting to the pointy end on really taking action around beef at the moment," Mr Mahony said. 

"We will work with  farmers across the east coast to really understand baseline carbon data, so we know where we're coming from. Then look at what interventions we can trial together where we can reduce emissions but equally increase sequestration of carbon through the right biodiverse environments."

McDonald's purchased more than 38 million kilos of beef for Australian stores in 2022 and Australian beef is in 70% of McDonald’s restaurants globally, according to major supply chain figure, Matt Toll of Fulton Market Group.

Mr Mahony told NFF conference attendees that from a supply chain perspective the firm was "here to grow and not going anywere".

"The future is really ensuring that we're set up for that growth in partnership with our suppliers and farmers," he said.

"The analytics that will come out of our partners Ruminati will carry across into other categories. That sets us up to know what we can do to ensure that we have a robust and resilient supply chain to support the growth that's coming."

The partnership comes as Ruminati announced a 2-year deal to track and validate on-farm climate activities with the Australian Wagyu Association. Wagyu producers will access Ruminati's platform to generate accurate, detailed and personalised emissions estimates and model the impact of methane and CO2-e abatement options.


Will Onus and Bobby Miller, co-founders of Ruminati with Lily Rodgers (middle)

“The Wagyu Sector has always given a strong focus to sustainability," said AWA CEO Matt McDonagh. "By tracking emissions across our membership, we’ll be able to take steps to support our producers to meet their own sustainability goals as well as help the sector navigate our industry commitments for carbon and climate outcomes.

Finding realistic pathways to meet climate goals will become a lot clearer, and we will be able to leverage that information for the benefit of the Wagyu Sector.”


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