Beef “raised without added hormones or steroids,” trumpeted a fast food chain in its advertising.
“Unthinkable without producers in Canada,” adds another banner.
The fast food giants are waging a real battle to feed the “ethical stomachs” in the country. McDonald’s launched the latest salvo by broadcasting an advertisement in which we see bread floating in the air without meat. “The Big Mac? Unthinkable without Canadian beef producers, because we use only 100 percent beef Canadian “, can we hear.
Sylvain Charlebois, a professor at the Food Institute of the University of Guelph, said he would not be surprised to learn that McDonald’s campaign is a response to that that A & W has started there about two years to boast the quality of its beef produced without hormones or steroids.
A campaign that had raised the ire of some beef producers, who use hormones to ensure rapid growth of their livestock.
While one of the chains trying to get closer to the farmers, the other focuses its message on the “natural” side of its food, observes Mr. Charlebois.
“McDonald’s is trying to do the mileage on the trust that the public relates to farmers, he said. McDonald’s has often been criticized, then approach the meat producers has strategically meaningful to them. ”
Mr. Charlebois describes the campaign of A & W brilliant, but stresses that the origin of the meat used by the channel is not at all clear.
“They are focusing the message on the naturalness of their menu. There is a lot of consumer interest in this. (…) People are more conscious farming practices, he argues. A & W make its supply chain more transparent, not in terms of origin, but under production practices. ”
No spokesperson for A & W has wanted to comment on the issue, but the chain has already said it bought part of its beef in Canada and that it was also important in the United States and Australia for him allow to stock only hormone free beef.
For its part, McDonald’s Canada confirms that 100 percent beef sandwiches in its content comes from here. According to the spokeswoman Sherry MacLauchlan banner purchased approximately 64 million pounds of beef last year.
She explains that the company was receiving more and more questions about his ox lately. “In general, consumer awareness as to the origin of what they eat is growing. That is why we launched the campaign, “she says.
But Canadian producers complain that this type of campaign leaves imply that some types of beef are better than others.
Doug Gillespie, president of the Association of farmers of Saskatchewan, even suggests that these insinuations are misleading. Cabbage contains more hormones than beef, he notes.
For its part, the Research Council on beef noted that to produce the same amount of beef, but without hormones, it takes 12 percent more cattle and 10 percent more land, while requiring more food, water, etc.
Mr. Gillespie hopes that advertisements McDonald’s succeed in reassuring consumers.
“I hope they have confidence in our way of doing things. We are very open about our practices. Nothing is hidden (…) and we must focus our message on the fact that we have a very safe product, “he insists.