PhotoHamburger chain Wendy's has always tried to set itself apart with the beef it uses to make its burgers. Its advertising proclaims its patties are “fresh, never frozen.”

Now the chain is doubling down on its beef, announcing a partnership with the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef that is says will advance sustainability efforts throughout the U.S. beef value chain.

The company says it has always tried to support sustainable beef production and responsible animal production practices. It says its partnership with the Roundtable will give it a place at the table when environmental, social, and economic sustainability issues are discussed.

Liliana Esposito, Chief Communications Officer for The Wendy's Company, says the partnership simply solidifies long-time commitments.

“We have a long-term interest in promoting the continued sustainability of the U.S beef supply chain, and we are proud to join the efforts of the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef and align on common goals and metrics to drive continuous improvement in U.S. beef production," Esposito said.

Millennial influence

As Millennial consumers, especially, have held companies to higher ethical standards, dozens of chains operating on massive scales have made commitments in the area of animal welfare. Wendy's is one of many fast food companies to pledge to move to 100% cage free eggs at its restaurants. Early this year it announced it would make that transition by 2020.

Wendy's says it understands that consumers are increasingly want to know more about their food and where it comes from. The company says the Roundtable is trying to make the U.S. beef value chain to be the best in breed when it comes to environmentally sound, socially responsible, and economically viable beef.

Roundtable members include farmers and ranchers, processors and industry partners, as well as academics, retailers, and environmental groups.

"The strength and success of the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef is dependent on a diverse membership that encompasses the entire beef value chain," said John Butler, beef producer and Roundtable chairman. "We are very proud to have Wendy's join the Roundtable as we all work to improve the sustainability of the U.S. beef industry."  

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