The Wendy’s Company Announces Major Advancement in Beef Sourcing

2018 Corporate Social Responsibility Progress Report Details Industry-Leading Efforts on Beef and Tomatoes to Verify Improvements in Sustainability and Fresh Food Sourcing

The Wendy’s Company Announces Major Advancement in Beef SourcingToday, The Wendy’s Company announced an industry-leading step that will allow the company to better understand and communicate how cattle for Wendy’s fresh beef* hamburgers are raised, facilitating advancements in areas such as animal care, antibiotics and sustainability. This comes on the heels of an earlier 2018 announcement on transitioning Wendy’s tomato supply to vine-ripened tomatoes exclusively from greenhouse farms, which was driven by the same Company commitment to providing the freshest, highest-quality food possible for its customers.

The news headlines Wendy’s annual update on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and sustainability initiatives spanning Food, Family and Community.

Wendy’s® CSR-focused materials are available through Wendy’s corporate blog, The Square Deal, and at

FOOD  “Quality is Our Recipe” isn’t just a Company tagline. Wendy’s takes extraordinary pride in serving and sourcing high-quality food to each and every customer.

DEMONSTRATING INDUSTRY LEADERSHIP WITH SUSTAINABLE, VERIFIABLE FRESH BEEF SUPPLY CHAIN. 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. Adoption of this program will be implemented in a significant part of its beef supply starting in 2019, with at least 50 percent by 2021, further delivering on Wendy’s commitment to enhanced beef supply chain accountability, transparency and traceability. The program focuses on three core areas:

  • 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

Efforts in these areas are verified by USDA-approved auditors. Each audit is a report card, and the metrics involved play a key role in finding and making improvements.

Beyond finalizing the new partnership with Progressive Beef, Wendy’s has made progress on existing commitments related to its beef supply chain. In 2018, Wendy’s fulfilled its commitment to source 100 percent of its beef from Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certified sources– hitting this milestone a year ahead of schedule. Wendy’s also sourced nearly 20 percent of its beef from producers who have each tracked and reduced their use of medically important antibiotics. Wendy’s is committed to continuing our work quantifying antibiotic use in our supply chain and further reducing use of antibiotics where possible.

Wendy’s also regularly consults with outside experts from academia, animal agriculture, and veterinary medicine to support animal care and welfare decisions, and this year they expanded the council to include more external professionals. For more about Wendy’s Animal Welfare Program and Council, click here.


As part of its ongoing commitment to sourcing fresh, high-quality produce, Wendy’s recently announced an initiative to source vine-ripened tomatoes for its North American restaurants exclusively from greenhouse farms by early 2019. Most of these tomatoes will be sourced from the United States and Canada, giving Wendy’s customers the benefit of fresh, great-tasting tomatoes from sources that match our North American restaurant footprint. This move further strengthens our commitment to responsible sourcing practices by providing safe, indoor working conditions, shelter from the elements and environmental contaminants, reduced water and land use burdens, and a significantly reduced need for chemical pesticides. This is the first-of-its-kind sourcing strategy for a U.S.-based, quick-service restaurant of Wendy’s scale.

FAMILY From the Restaurant Support Center to every restaurant, supporting employees within the Wendy’s family is a priority.

SUPPORTING EMPLOYEES WITH FINANCIAL AID WHEN NATURAL DISASTERS STRIKE. Wendy’s WeCare program is designed to provide short-term financial assistance to employees within the Wendy’s system who are experiencing financial need due to federally or state-declared natural disasters. WeCare is funded by The Wendy’s Foundation and donations from employees, franchisees and the public. Eligible applicants must be employed by Wendy’s International, LLC or a Wendy’s franchise organization at the time of the event. In 2018, more than $100,000 was distributed to more than 200 members of the Wendy’s family.

WENDY’S RECOGNIZED AS AN OUTSTANDING WORKPLACE. In February, Wendy’s was recognized for being a leader in hourly and management turnover, diversity, compensation and year over year results from the TDn2K™ (Transforming Data into Knowledge) 2018 Global Best Practices Conference. The conference also recognized Wendy’s efforts around community involvement, employee benefits and engagement and sustainability.

COMMUNITY Wendy’s believes it’s important to give something back to the communities where it does business. Check out some of the many ways Wendy’s has made a positive impact in 2018.

RAISES MORE THAN $18.7 MILLION TO SUPPORT THE DAVE THOMAS FOUNDATION FOR ADOPTION AND CHILDREN IN FOSTER CARE. Wendy’s founder, Dave Thomas, was adopted as an infant, and he fought tirelessly to rid the foster care system of the red tape that slowed the adoption process. The Wendy’s system continues this tradition to support Dave’s passion and have faithfully supported these children and this cause since 1992 when he founded the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

Annually, the Wendy’s system supports funding and awareness raising efforts by hosting several national cause-marketing programs and local events which raised more than $18.7 million for the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption+.


Wendy’s support helps the Foundation continue to make significant progress in scaling its Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program across the United States and Canada. This evidence-based program is up to three times more effective in finding adoptive families for children who have been waiting in foster care the longest. To date, more than 8,000 children have been adopted as a direct result of Wendy’s Wonderful Kids.

FURTHERS RESPONSIBLE DEVELOPMENT PRACTICES AND OPERATIONS WITH NEW SMART FAMILY OF RESTAURANT DESIGNS. As part of its efforts to grow and differentiate the brand while keeping energy stewardship at the forefront, Wendy’s unveiled a new “Smart Family of Designs,” providing a portfolio of development options to franchisees. These designs reduce impact on the environment with an even smaller footprint and include features that promote energy efficiency, while targeting significant savings in development costs. This next generation of Wendy’s Smart Designs complements the Company’s commitment to reduce the amount of energy used in company-owned and operated restaurants by 20 percent by 2025, as part of its participation in the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings® Challenge.

Wendy’s issued an energy and sustainability progress report in April 2018 and it can be found on the Company’s website at this link:

*Fresh beef available in the contiguous United States, Canada and Alaska.

+ The DTFA’s fiscal year is June 30, 2017 – June 30, 2018.