Recently, McDonald’s team members made the drive 50 miles north of Seattle to Natural Milk Dairy in Stanwood, Washington. McDonalds employees were eager to see the farm in action, but were most interested in seeing where their milk and Frappe mix comes from!
“We love to visit local farms and meet our partners who are responsible for providing McDonald’s with some of our local ingredients in the Northwest, such as butter and our milk jugs,” said Lindsay Kirsh, Field Brand Reputation Manager at McDonalds. “As we continue to foster relationships with our farmers, we strengthen our story of quality, locally-sourced ingredients which our guests can feel good about eating.”
Much of these products come from Darigold-a farmer-owned cooperative.
Dairy farmer Jeremy Visser welcomed the team to his farm and said, “I like having customers come out to my family’s dairy farm. We are proud of what we do here and I am excited to share our work. One of the things I am most proud of is my family’s continued investment in environmental sustainability. We are working on brand new clean water technology here on the farm so it’s great to be able to share that story with the McDonalds team.”
Many Darigold farmers are known for their sustainable practices. In fact, McDonalds recognized Darigold as one of their Sustainable Suppliers of the Year in 2012 based on solid performance and commitment to continuous improvement by their farmers. Since 2012, the Northwest Dairy Association (NDA) has made participation in the National Milk Producers Federation’s F.A.R.M. program a condition of membership (Darigold is a subsidiary of NDA). To date, essentially all of NDA’s farms have successfully completed a comprehensive animal welfare evaluation. Darigold has also begun conducting third-party labor management practices audits.
“We’re thrilled to host McDonalds on dairy farms in Washington State,” said Scott Kinney, CEO of Dairy Farmers of Washington. “You can’t get better than Washington dairy. Our climate is perfect for dairy cows. Our soil is ideal for growing the food that sustains those cows. Our farmers are recognized industry-wide for their leadership on sustainability and animal care. We’re proud to be supplying the best dairy products on the market and we aren’t shy about saying that.”