McDonald's Wants Traceback Now

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Jun 24, 2004
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McDonald's Wants Traceback Now
Underpinning demand is consumer trust, said Gary Johnson, senior director of worldwide supply chain management at McDonald's Corp. (MCD), one of the world's biggest beef buyers.

"Consumer trust in the safety of the food they eat across the entire food chain including the proteins is the single most critical factor for our industry," he said.

Animal traceability is the most important thing the cattle industry can do to earn and keep the trust of consumers, he said.

The U.S. industry is lumbering towards adopting programs that can trace back retail beef to cattle on the farm, but not without some industry opposition - and considerable intransigence in some quarters.

Philip Seng, president and chief executive of the U.S. Meat Export Federation, said traceability isn't yet comprehensive in the U.S., which is a major beef exporter.

Traceability represents an opportunity to enhance export demand and is being gradually introduced in the industry, he said.

Roger Fletcher of Roger Fletcher International Pty. Ltd., Australia's biggest sheepmeat exporter, also wants traceback introduced more quickly in his industry, though this is likely to happen anyway within two years, providing protection for producers and consumers alike.

-By Ray Brindal, Dow Jones Newswires, 61 (0) 418 417 104

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