by Mojo Mathers
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,