Wendy’s is proud to serve fresh, never-frozen, North American fed-beef in restaurants in the contiguous U.S., Alaska and Canada

We have long partnered with innovators and leaders throughout the beef industry to advance responsible sourcing practices in animal care and welfare, sustainability and traceability. Now, the Wendy’s Animal Care Standards Program will help us gain greater visibility into our supply chain and provide a formalized approach to driving continuous improvement.

Progressive Beef

Wendy's is proud to be the first restaurant chain to partner with the Progressive Beef™ program, an innovative animal care and sustainability program that is built on industry-leading best practices and third-party verification. As of the end of 2020, approximately 40% of Wendy’s U.S. fresh, never frozen beef supply1 is sourced from Progressive Beef-certified feedlots. That represents a 15% increase from the prior year and demonstrates progress toward our goal of sourcing more than 50% of our supply from cattle raised under the Progressive Beef program (or the equivalent) by the end of 2021.

Key program areas include:  

  • Cattle care: Providing a safe, humane environment for cattle through staff training on management practices and hands-on veterinary care

  • Food safety and antibiotic use: Responsibly using antibiotics under the supervision of a veterinarian and with thorough record-keeping, strictly adhering to withdrawal times, utilizing HACCP principles and ensuring a clean and safe environment for the animals

  • Environmental sustainability: Responsibly utilizing natural resources while investing in the people who care for the cattle and the local communities through staff training and certification

Progress on Antibiotics

Wendy’s sources beef from younger (42 months or younger), U.S. grain-finished beef cattle raised specifically for high quality grades such as USDA Prime, Choice, and Select; not older dairy or beef producing cows. Not only is this a quality advantage, but because they’re younger, we also believe that these animals generally have less time to need, or receive, antibiotics. For this reason, our focus on antibiotic use and reduction efforts centers on U.S.-raised feedlot cattle and typical antibiotic use in that environment. 

Our suppliers in the beef area include beef packing operations and beef patty processing facilities that receive beef cuts from packers and process them into fresh, never frozen hamburger patties. We have made efforts to extend our relationships further back into our supply chain with feedlot operators that supply live animals to the beef packing operations; however, unless otherwise noted, we do not have contractual supplier relationships with these parties. 

In 2016, Wendy’s set a long-term goal to phase out the routine use of medically important antibiotics within our protein supply chain, and we recently mapped out key milestones as part of our 2030 goal to eliminate the routine use of medically important antibiotics. Key progress to date within our beef supply chain includes:

  • As part of our commitment to gauge the use of antibiotics within our beef supply chain and to reduce it meaningfully over time, Wendy’s has engaged with a consortium of beef producers since 2017 on this topic.

  • In 2020, nearly a third of Wendy’s beef supply came from producers who have made a science-based commitment to at least a 20% reduction in the use of tylosin, the most common medically important antibiotic used in fed cattle.

Roundtable for Sustainable Beef

In 2016, Wendy’s announced its partnership with the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef and a commitment to advancing sustainability efforts throughout the U.S. beef value chain.  By joining the Roundtable, Wendy's will also ensure it has an active voice in discussions about the environmental, social and economic sustainability of the U.S. beef industry.

In 2020, Wendy’s expanded the commitment to beef sustainability by joining the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef.

About the initiatives:

  • The U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef is a multi-stakeholder initiative developed to advance, support and communicate continuous improvement in sustainability of the U.S. beef value chain. The U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef achieves this through leadership, innovation, multi-stakeholder engagement and collaboration. 
  • The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef is a collaborative multi-stakeholder community devoted to advancing sustainability in the Canadian beef industry. It achieves this through sustainability benchmarking and a sustainability strategy, a voluntary operation-level certification program and projects that demonstrate, pilot and promote continuous improvement in Canadian beef production.
Beef Quality Assurance

In 2018, Wendy’s hit a milestone a year early by fulfilling its commitment to source 100% of its beef from Beef Quality Assurance certified sources.

The beef community has a long-standing commitment to caring for their animals and providing families with the safest, highest-quality beef possible. Beef Quality Assurance is a program that trains farmers and ranchers on best practice cattle management techniques to ensure their animals and the environment are cared for within a standard set of guidelines and regulations across the U.S. beef industry.

About the program:

  • Beef Quality Assurance principles are based on good management practices that are standard operating procedures designed to meet the United States food production system's needs.

  • Beef Quality Assurance programming focuses on educating and training cattle producers, farm advisors, and veterinarians on the issues in cattle food safety and quality. It also provides tools for verifying and documenting animal husbandry practices. 

1Fresh beef available in the contiguous U.S., Alaska and Canada.