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MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: McDonald’s is set to become the first fast-food chain in Britain to serve ethically-sourced coffee. The company has agreed to buy its coffee only from farms using sustainable growing techniques. From London, Stephen Beard reports.
STEPHEN BEARD: McDonald’s in the UK has agreed to purchase only coffee certified by an independent group called the Rainforest Alliance.
The group aims to protect the environment and the livelihood of third world farmers. Coffee farms certified by the alliance can earn around 30 percent more than other growers.
The new deal, says Jenny Rayner of McDonald’s, will help some of the world’s poorest coffee farmers.
JENNY RAYNER: It really is a great big deal for them. Thousands of farmers and farmworkers in Colombia, Central America, Brazil, they’re all going to benefit from this added commitment that we’re going to give to the Rainforest Alliance.
McDonald’s is overhauling its image and projecting itself in Britain as “the progressive burger company.”
Starbucks meanwhile has attracted criticism for allegedly refusing to pay more for its Ethiopian coffee.
In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.
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