Wendy’s announced Wednesday that it would be making changes to its practices to move toward a more sustainably-sourced food supply chain. Reflecting on its tagline “Quality is Our Recipe,” Wendy’s partnered with a new program to ensure it’s creating the best burgers from the best beef available.

The brand has partnered with the Progressive Beef program, an innovative animal care and sustainability program that is built on industry-leading best practices and third-party verification, to oversee and improve its beef program from beginning to end. This partnership will allow Wendy’s to improve practices in its beef supply chain from the way cattle is raised and cared for to overall sustainability.

According to a statement from the company, the new program will focus on three core areas:

  • Cattle Care: providing a safe, humane environment for cattle through staff training on management practices and hands-on veterinary care
  • Food Safety and Antibiotic Use: responsibly using antibiotics under the supervision of a veterinarian and with thorough record-keeping, strictly adhering to withdrawal times, utilizing HACCP principles and ensuring a clean and safe environment for the animals
  • Environmental Sustainability: responsibly utilizing natural resources while investing in the people who care for the cattle and the local communities through staff training and certification

In 2018, the company began making changes to help improve the quality of its hamburgers. Wendy’s hit a milestone a year early by fulfilling its “commitment to source 100 percent of its beef from Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certified sources,” according to a statement. Nearly 20 percent of its beef comes from producers who are actively tracking and reducing their use of medically important antibiotics.

Wendy’s wants to continue to improve transparency, traceability, and accountability in the food it serves in its restaurants and by implementing these changes it will be able to do that. A significant part of Wendy’s beef supply chain will be affected by these changes in 2019. By 2021, the company hopes at least 50 percent of the supply chain will be practicing under the new guidelines.

On Tuesday, fast-food rival McDonald’s launched an extensive plan of their own to reduce the use of antibiotics in its beef. Read more about it here. Chipotle and Panera Bread are among the other chains committed to reducing antibiotic use in beef.

Along with its beef supply chain, Wendy’s is also taking steps to improve the produce it serves in restaurants. Earlier this year, the company announced it would be transitioning to high quality vine-ripened tomatoes exclusively grown from greenhouse farms. “This move further strengthens our commitment to responsible sourcing practices by providing safe, indoor working conditions, shelter from the elements and environmental contaminants, reduced water and land use burdens, and a significantly reduced need for chemical pesticides,” the company said in a statement.  

Story, Sustainability, Wendy's