McDonalds Rainforest Alliance

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McDonalds Rainforest Alliance

Postby Emily Oak on Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:13 pm

Last night, while watching TV the latest McDonalds commercial came on advertising the new McCafe Coffee Blend - Rainforest Alliance.

McCafe in Australia are big (in fact we invented the espresso element of the McD's) and have adopted the Rainforest Alliance branding and buying for all their coffee from now on.

http://www.mcdonalds.com.au/mccafe-sust ... -blend.asp

I'm not sure how I feel about this - except that RA has been getting heaps of mainstream press lately and has been adopted by a number of larger 'mainstream' or 'non specialty' coffee roasters suppliers. We've been buying it for a number of years and are quite a supporter of the programme. I guess this is another way of making everyday consumers more aware of the situation at origin.

McDonalds have said on their website:

"We view coffee as a key growth driver for our business and recognise that our customers increasingly want not only safe and great tasting food and drink, but to feel good about the choices they make. For coffee, there were a number of established and structured certification programs already available in the marketplace and so once we had evaluated the merits of each, making the decision to move to sourcing from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms was really very simple."

I don't know if McCafe is a big thing in the USA or elsewhere for that matter, and where McDonalds source their coffee.

Thoughts?
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Re: McDonalds Rainforest Alliance

Postby sweetmarias on Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:39 pm

i went to a mc cafe on the way to fraijanes guatemala. the coffee was not entirely bad. plus, i could double dip my quarter pounder in it. where else can you do that? i don't know about their sourcing, but it seemed like hard bean central, fairly clean, some acidity. made me think of tim hortons. now ... do they have tim hortons in australia? (please answer "no"!) -tom
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Re: McDonalds Rainforest Alliance

Postby Marshall on Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:57 pm

sweetmarias wrote:i went to a mc cafe on the way to fraijanes guatemala. the coffee was not entirely bad. plus, i could double dip my quarter pounder in it. where else can you do that? i don't know about their sourcing....

Gavina in California.
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Re: McDonalds Rainforest Alliance

Postby Gary McGann on Thu Jun 05, 2008 12:39 am

McDonald's have been using and heavily promoting Rainforest Alliance coffee in the UK for over a year - they claim that sales of coffee have grown 22% partly as a result of this. They are shortly to change their tea to RA also. For me RA is the easiest of the 'badges' to put on your coffee for these guys as you only need 35% of the blend to be certified. Over here their supplier is Kraft.

With regard to McCafe while successful in Ireland, Russia and other EU countries it has failed to get past two trial stores in the UK. In their mainstream stores they have a very clever loyalty card that is actually inbedded in the outer layer of a double walled cup and is perforated to allow the customer to remove it.
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Re: McDonalds Rainforest Alliance

Postby Sean Starke on Thu Jun 05, 2008 3:48 am

The site says

Every bean we grind at McCafé® is made using 100% Arabica coffee beans sourced only from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms in Brazil, Colombia and Costa Rica that meet the strict environmental and social standards set by the Rainforest Alliance.


Good for them.
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Re: McDonalds Rainforest Alliance

Postby phaelon56 on Thu Jun 05, 2008 5:07 am

The coffee offerings at McDonalds in the US seems to very by location or to a greater extent by region. The individual stores are operated by franchisees and I think they have some leeway in which McD's specialty products (food and beverage alike) they offer and which ones they don't. In this area the new "premium" coffee is offered but when I was on a road trip to Connecticut recently the expressway rest top McD's had Green Mountain /Paul Newman organic coffee. I haven't tried that one but their standard "premium" coffee is fairly mediocre. Certainly better than what they had previously and far better than Burger King's Coffee.

Tom said:
made me think of tim hortons.


I wonder if Tim Horton's also uses different coffee in different areas? I've never been to a full blow Canadian Tim Horton's but they recently started moving into NY state with some Buffalo area stores. I tried a cup of coffee at one of their NY state Thruway stores - which is a food court mini-store - and it was putrid; really seriously bad - not even as good as what McD's had before they raised the bar a bit.
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Re: McDonalds Rainforest Alliance

Postby Marshall on Thu Jun 05, 2008 7:59 am

phaelon56 wrote:The coffee offerings at McDonalds in the US seems to very by location or to a greater extent by region. The individual stores are operated by franchisees and I think they have some leeway in which McD's specialty products (food and beverage alike) they offer and which ones they don't.

It's divided by region, and I do not believe the franchisees have any choice. I know they use Gavina in California, Green Mountain in the northeast and S&D in the South. Don't know the other regions.
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Re: McDonalds Rainforest Alliance

Postby Edwin Martinez on Thu Jun 05, 2008 1:02 pm

Marshall wrote:
sweetmarias wrote:i went to a mc cafe on the way to fraijanes guatemala. the coffee was not entirely bad. plus, i could double dip my quarter pounder in it. where else can you do that? i don't know about their sourcing....

Gavina in California.



Marshall, are you saying McCAfe in Guate is using Gavinia in Calif?

I agree tom it's definitely a hard central, not prime, not shb.

Many of the McCafe's in Guate now have ristretto on the menu and have more than one coffee offering. A few weeks ago I had some espresso. It was ground and dosed to order. Then as I watched the careful distribution and tamping with perfect form on the edge of the counter I thought to myself the 2009 WBC COULD come from a McCafe in a MALL in Guatemala City! Don't laugh, it just might happen!

Watch out Emily.. I heard McDonalds in Australia is also looking at single origin micro lots and hosting public cuppings.
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Re: McDonalds Rainforest Alliance

Postby Marshall on Thu Jun 05, 2008 2:09 pm

Edwin Martinez wrote:
Marshall wrote:
sweetmarias wrote:i went to a mc cafe on the way to fraijanes guatemala. the coffee was not entirely bad. plus, i could double dip my quarter pounder in it. where else can you do that? i don't know about their sourcing....

Gavina in California.


Marshall, are you saying McCAfe in Guate is using Gavinia in Calif?

No, we were talking about McDonald's coffee in the U.S., which is almost entirely drip. They are just beginning to roll out the McCafe's here (except for a few pioneer test locations). But, I would not be surprised to see the McCafes use the same roasters who gave McDonalds such a sales boost over the past two years.
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Re: McDonalds Rainforest Alliance

Postby phaelon56 on Thu Jun 05, 2008 4:56 pm

One of the first test McCafe locations in the US opened back around 2000 on 42nd Street in Manhattan as a sort of annex to the big McDonalds there. It was really lame with a small superauto or pod machine (can't recall which) and Nescafe as the featured coffee. I think they yanked it after year or so but the lack of success was understandable as they just didn't "get it".
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Re: McDonalds Rainforest Alliance

Postby Brent on Sun Jun 08, 2008 7:19 pm

Emily Oak wrote:Last night, while watching TV the latest McDonalds commercial came on advertising the new McCafe Coffee Blend - Rainforest Alliance.

McCafe in Australia are big (in fact we invented the espresso element of the McD's) and have adopted the Rainforest Alliance branding and buying for all their coffee from now on.

Thoughts?


Emily, I think the first McCafe was here in (d)Auckland... but you guys can claim it as yours :)

They have just started the big push here (in fact I think they ramp it up tonight with free screenings of Black Gold)

They are still using super autos etc, but I am not going to knock their efforts in getting rainforest coffee.

They had a stand at the NZ Coffee Festival over the weekend with videos etc running - they are it would appear trying to lift their game - good on them!

My children certainly seemed to coax a lot of hot chocolate and the likes from them :)
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Re: McDonalds Rainforest Alliance

Postby Emily Oak on Mon Jun 09, 2008 2:09 am

Brent wrote:Emily, I think the first McCafe was here in (d)Auckland... but you guys can claim it as yours :)


Sorry Brent - if you wiki you'll find it started in Melbourne in 1993 :-)

Edwin - you've got me worried now... ;-)
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Re: McDonalds Rainforest Alliance

Postby Brent on Mon Jun 09, 2008 2:51 am

Emily Oak wrote:
Brent wrote:Emily, I think the first McCafe was here in (d)Auckland... but you guys can claim it as yours :)

Sorry Brent - if you wiki you'll find it started in Melbourne in 1993 :-)

No Emily, this is a correction I am pleased to learn about :)

I feel so much better about NZ now...
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Re: McDonalds Rainforest Alliance

Postby Brent on Mon Jun 09, 2008 4:11 pm

Brent wrote:No Emily, this is a correction I am pleased to learn about :)

as is who else is promoting fairtrade in nz - BP are pushing it now as well...
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Re: McDonalds Rainforest Alliance

Postby Gary McGann on Wed Jun 11, 2008 12:51 am

Does anyone happen to know who roasts for BP Wild Bean in NZ? Over here they dont have any certification with their coffee.


Thanks

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Re: McDonalds Rainforest Alliance

Postby Brent on Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:15 pm

Gary McGann wrote:Does anyone happen to know who roasts for BP Wild Bean in NZ? Over here they dont have any certification with their coffee.


Thanks

Gary


Cerebos Greggs / Robert Harris as far as I am aware

To my knowledge they are also doing the golden arches...
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