GREAT BEND, KAN. – The Wendy’s Co. recently announced its 2020 progress with Progressive Beef, a cattle management and sustainability program for feedlot operators. 

The quick-service restaurant chain said 40% of its fresh, never frozen beef supply was sourced from the Progressive Beef program at the end of 2020, which was a 15% increase during the year. Wendy’s plans to have more than 50% of its beef supply come from the program in 2021.

“Despite a challenging year for the beef and restaurant industries, we remained on track with our commitment to the Progressive Beef program,” said Liliana Esposito, chief communications officer for The Wendy’s Co. “Improving the traceability and sustainability of our supply chain is one of Wendy’s key priorities. When it comes to beef, the first step is reaching further back into our supply chain to create visibility into the animals we source for our food, and to verify how they were raised and treated.”

Esposito went onto explain that transparency and record keeping will help Wendy’s monitor and improve sustainability metrics like medical treatment, antibiotic use, water and land use.

Wendy’s began its partnership with Progressive Beef at the end of 2018.

The Progressive Beef system provides third-party verification that feedlot cattle were raised in accordance with strict animal welfare and sustainability standards. The program is based on its core pillars to achieve improvement: animal welfare, food safety and sustainability.

“Wendy’s is a longtime leader in the restaurant industry, and we were delighted to have them as our first restaurant chain partner,” said John Butler, chief executive officer of Progressive Beef. “Today’s consumers want to know where their food comes from and that the cattle were ethically and sustainably raised. We are proud to offer Wendy’s a solution to meet the company’s goal of a more transparent and traceable fresh beef supply chain; a program that we believe to be the industry gold standard and way of the future.”

More information on the Progressive Beef program can be found in this 2018 feature from MEAT+POULTRY.