Maple Leaf Foods, one of Canada’s largest food manufacturers, has declared that it wants to become “the most sustainable protein company on earth”. With aims to improve nutrition, environmental sustainability, animal care and corporate responsibility, CEO Michael M. McCain released a statement saying that “Our food system has drifted from its roots, to nourish wellbeing, to farm sustainably, to view food as a universal good for all. We must serve the world better.”
Ultimately, Maple Leaf foods has released the following set of Sustainable Meat Principles which will guide the company’s practices, and which it hopes will inspire other companies to follow:
- Sustainable meat is nutritious, healthy and safe.
- Sustainable meat is accessible, affordable and eaten in moderation.
- Sustainable meat is produced adhering to environmental standards that measurably reduce impacts across the lifecycle.
- Sustainable meat comes from animals that are raised with care, with minimal use of antibiotics and to standards that respect the Five Freedoms of animal welfare.
- Sustainable meat is produced through a resilient, fair and efficient food system that makes optimal use of land and natural resources.
- Sustainable meat is produced by a company that is responsive to the needs of society.
The company, which completed a takeover of Lightlife earlier this year has also announced plans to invest in alternative proteins. Lightlife currently holds 38% of the market for alternative protein in the US and therefore presents a lucrative acquisition, particularly as the market is growing. McCain again stated that this acquisition was to show Maple Leaf Food’s commitment to sustainability.