Mojo Mathers
Open letter to McDonald’s

Last week McDonalds United Kingdom announced they are going to source 100 percent of their pork products from Freedom Food’s producers certified by the RSPCA, so I sent this letter to the Managing Director of McDonald’s New Zealand today.

We are looking forward to McDonald’s New Zealand making similar commitment here and will keep you updated with their response.

Open letter to McDonald’s New Zealand Managing Director

I am writing to you about the recent announcement by McDonald’s United Kingdom to source 100 percent of their pork products from Freedom Food’s producers certified by the RSPCA. This is such an exciting move and comes on the back of their June 2012 announcement that they would set welfare standards for their pork producers.

When they made that initial announcement I put out a press release asking McDonald’s New Zealand to follow their lead. That is how we initially came into contact and so this time I am writing directly to ask you again if you will consider making a similar commitment in New Zealand.

McDonalds United Kingdom has said that ethical sourcing, such as this, is very important to them. Warren Anderson, the vice president of supply chain at McDonald’s UK, was quoted saying:

Not only will our move to Freedom Food pork make it easier for people to make affordable, ethical choices on the high street, we hope that more of Britain’s pig producers will have the confidence to invest in the future and adopt the RSPCA’s higher-welfare standards on their farms.

The Green Party and many New Zealanders feel strongly that animals that provide us with food deserve a good life. The pork that McDonald’s currently uses is imported from countries that have animal welfare standards lower, even, than New Zealand’s basic standards. New Zealand recognised the suffering caused by sow crates by putting in place a ban on crates by 2015. Our producers have to compete with imported pork produced using these cruel methods from countries with lower animal welfare standards than our own.  Wendy’s in New Zealand have also made a commitment to using 100 percent New Zealand sourced pork for their products as well as only free range eggs.

I am not aware of any reason why New Zealand customers would care less about animal welfare than customers in the United Kingdom. Will you follow the lead of your international counterparts and set animal welfare standards for the pork products you use? Our equivalent to Freedom Food in New Zealand, as I am sure you are aware, is the Blue Tick from the SPCA.

I look forward to your response,

Yours sincerely,

Mojo Mathers.

13 thoughts on “Open letter to McDonald’s

  1. One good thing MacDonalds has done in New Zealand lately along with Restaurant Brands (KFC, Pizza Hut and some Carl’s Jr stores) is shun the new Youth Rates – good on them!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3 (+1)

  2. Appreciate the letter Mojo. Quite frankly, why on earth should we import pork products from ANY country. Shopping today, I see bacon from Finland of all places! Going cheap so, understandably, some one is bound to prefer it.
    I am prepared to pay a little more and buy a quality NZ grown and processed product. It is possible, even on a budget. Cut out the lollies, disposable nappies and other supposed “neccessities” of this day and age and support NZ made.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2 (+5)

  3. Or you could just cut out “supposed “neccessities”” like pork.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2 (+3)

  4. Good onya Mojo,
    I cant believe we need to import food.. especially if we can produce it locally in NZ. The additional freight cost, cant be making it cheaper or more environmentally friendly ?

    What next.. importing food from overseas to supply our hospitals or McCrap special meal-deals for them ?

    Kia-ora

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1 (+4)

  5. The sentiment from the posters is nice, but in my experience that sentiment is often thrown from the cart when time comes to part with your hard earned cash.
    I dont know how many people have said “I would happily pay more if…” who purchase the Australian canned food because its on special for 18 cents less than the Kiwi option.
    Every day people out there take their cars to be serviced to a franchise dealer who pays money to American, German, Japanese and even Chinese companies in order to carry their names on the door. You pay hundreds of dollars more in some cases only to send your money overseas and contribute to the financial troubles of average Joe/Jo Kiwi.

    We need a smarter consumer, until consumers better educate themselves the dollar will rule the majority over any animal welfare issue.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 (+3)

  6. Why on earth would anyone give the thumbs down to MacDonald’s etc paying higher wages than the youth rate to its youngest staff? Very weird.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 (+3)

  7. Some people think that McDonalds would have employed less people as a result.

    Yes, that’s right – a corporation that makes money hand over fist decided to short-staff itself because it had no extra money. That’s what they think.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1 (-1)

  8. I’m always flabbergasted when people point to McDonald’s, and similar concerns, as being good for employment. These are capital-intensive industries who have systems designed to keep staff costs low. Inevitably they will employ less people per product sold than the smaller, more labour intensive competitors they replace.

    Unless of course, they suceed in convincing people to buy a lot more junk food than they did previously, which is hardly a positive.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 (+2)

  9. “We need a smarter consumer, until consumers better educate themselves the dollar will rule the majority over any animal welfare issue.”

    Mostly we need richer consumers. When you are broke, $6.28 a kilo pork is pretty attractive, even if you are aware of animal welfare concerns.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 (+2)

  10. I think this is very important they would set welfare standards for their pork producers. After the horses meet was detected in some east-european companies this kinds of things should be controlled very strictly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 (+1)

  11. Sam Buchanan notes:

    I’m always flabbergasted when people point to McDonald’s, and similar concerns, as being good for employment. These are capital-intensive industries who have systems designed to keep staff costs low.

    In the USA, 7% of the working population had their first job at McD. Many move on to other jobs, some stay; the current MD of McD NZ started his career as a burger flipper. It is these first jobs where the new recruits learn work routines, job discipline, and organisational teamwork.

    McDonalds employs a lot of people who frankly wont get jobs elsewhere. As the world becomes a more high-tech place, those without marketable skills are consigned to a life on the dole. McD is one of the few places where these folks are welcomed. Of course McD does keep its staff costs under control, but it still employs a lot of people.

    Inevitably they will employ less people per product sold than the smaller, more labour intensive competitors they replace.

    That’s not what the history of fast food tells us. The competitors, irrespective of their relative consumption of labour, fail because they are less good a being a McD clone than McD are at being McD. The landscape is littered with McD wannabes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  12. I just can’t believe that NZ need to import from UK..if this happens then for every food production , NZ will import form other countries at higher wages.what ever they are spending is the public’s money so they need to get interact with people before taking decision.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

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