TORONTO – McDonald’s Canada is importing beef to fill supply chain gaps due to reduced processing and temporary plant closures caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The company cited capacity limitations with its Canadian beef raw material suppliers, including Cargill which just announced plans to reopen its High River, Alberta, plant on May 4 with one shift. JBS reduced processing capabilities at the company’s plant in Brooks, Alberta. Combined, the Cargill and JBS plants account for 70% of Canada’s total federally inspected beef processing capabilities.

“We are working closely with Cargill and other McDonald’s suppliers globally to meet our current demand for beef, and ensure our restaurants are not impacted,” the company said. “We know our guests depend on their local McDonald’s and we are committed to doing our part to continue serving our communities during this time.”

The company also is removing Angus burgers from the McDonald’s Canadian menu nationally, effective immediately. However, restaurants may continue to sell Angus burgers while current supply lasts. McDonald’s Canada said the “menu simplification” is temporary.

McDonald’s Canada affirmed the company’s commitment to supporting Canadian ranchers and farmers but acknowledged that the impact of COVID-19 forced the company to adapt to the situation.

“At McDonald’s Canada, we are proud of our long-standing commitment to serve 100% Canadian beef and plan to continue our Canadian beef sourcing long-term,” the company said. “However, due to unprecedented COVID-19 impacts on the Canadian beef supply chain, we are temporarily adjusting our supply to incorporate beef from outside Canada – from pre-approved McDonald’s suppliers and facilities globally – in order to meet the current demand, effective immediately.

“Until Canada’s beef supply stabilizes, we will source as much Canadian beef as we can and then supplement with imported beef. Tapping into the strength of our global supply chain will allow McDonald’s Canada to continue to serve our communities, without interruption.”