McDonald's to serve 'eco-friendly' coffeeBurger chain to use ethically sourced coffee

08 January 2007

Fast food chain McDonald’s has announced it’s to begin serving environmentally-friendly coffee.

In a bid to improve its environmental credentials, the burger chain has pledged that all coffee sold at its UK outlets will come from farms that meet basic environmental and welfare standards.

McDonald’s says that all coffee sourced for its 1,200 UK restaurants to farms will be approved by the Rainforest Alliance, an independent watchdog.

With customers buying more than 143,000 cups of coffee a day, the company claims the move will make environmentalism ‘mainstream’.

Corporate ethics

In recent years McDonald's has come under fire for its corporate ethics and this is the latest in a series of measures to revamp its image.

Steve Easterbrook, Chief Executive of McDonald's UK, said: ‘McDonald's is a progressive burger company and this is another important step for us.

‘It means we can offer our customers great tasting coffee that doesn't cost the earth and benefits coffee, growers, their communities and the environment.’

But the Rainforest Alliance's sustainable agriculture certification has been called 'Fairtrade Lite' by some critics who say it does not offer producers minimum or guaranteed price.

‘Fairtrade Lite’

A report by Ethical Corporation Magazine in 2005 compared the Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance Certification programs and concluded coffee producers under the latter scheme received 21 per cent less for their crop than under Fairtrade.