ELEVEN years after burger giant McDonald’s launched its hugely popular Angus burger range, the company has pulled out of supporting Angus Australia’s breed’s verification program.
Since 2010, Angus Australia, either directly or through its former subsidiary company Certified Angus Group has verified all the beef going into the highly successful McDonald’s Angus burger range sold at restaurants in Australia and New Zealand.
Verification by Angus Australia of the beef sold by McDonald’s in its Angus burgers set an important benchmark in the fast food sector for product integrity, ensuring that when placing an order, McDonald’s customers were getting exactly what they paid for – genuine Angus beef.
Angus trimmings used to formulate patties gained a significant premium in the marketplace, such was the success of the McDonald’s Angus burger program, and risks existed of substitution.
Angus Australia’s commercial supply chain manager Liz Pearson said the McDonald’s Angus burger range transformed the fast food sector in Australia and NZ, taking the Angus brand to the masses and building household recognition of the high quality beef to consumers around the region.
“As well as adding to the quality and diversity of the McDonald’s restaurant range and generating enormous benefits to the company and its customers, the Angus burger program has also contributed to increasing in the value of the whole carcase and boosting the demand for Angus cattle, generating more money in the pocket of Australian Angus producers,” she said.
Over the past 11 years, several million Angus cattle had passed through the verification program, converting to “many, many millions of Angus beef patties enjoyed by consumers in Australia and New Zealand,” Ms Pearson said.
McDonald’s Australia has terminated its use of the Angus verification program from today, 30 September.
While McDonald’s will continue to offer an Angus burger range, Angus Australia said it would unfortunately no longer be involved in the verification of the integrity of the breed claim.
“To that end, Angus Australia can no longer provide assurances that the beef in these burgers is actually Angus,” Ms Pearson said.
“Although the Angus verification program will discontinue, Angus Australia thanks McDonald’s Australia, supply chain companies MAC Pacific, AgriFoods Global and Fulton Market Group and their suppliers into this program for their confidence in the Angus breed and their role in taking the Angus brand to new heights,” she said.
“It is rare for a corporation like McDonald’s to have a partnership with an industry organisation such as has been achieved with Angus Australia. We look forward to new opportunities to collaborate with industry influencers for the benefit of consumers and Angus breeders alike,” Ms Pearson said.
McDonald’s said it had opted to have Chicago-based supply chain management experts Fulton Market Group administer a ‘new independent verification process’ for its Angus product. It did not identify that Fulton is the company which purchases Australian beef on McDonald’s behalf.
McDonald’s said the new framework would allow it to source large volumes of high-quality Angus beef for its Australian and New Zealand restaurants, as well as its global export markets.
It said Australian and New Zealand beef also comprised a large percentage of beef that’s used in its global system, ensuring that Angus beef remained an important part of the beef supply chain in many international markets.