In a big win for workers and consumers, McDonald’s Corp., the largest purchaser of potatoes in the United States, has agreed to take steps to reduce pesticides used to produce french fries and other potato products. The action came in response to a shareholder proposal by three investors, including the AFL-CIO, that would have required McDonald’s to publish a report on options for reducing pesticide use in its supply chain. Under the agreement, the groups—Bard College Endowment, Newground Social Investment and the AFL-CIO Reserve Fund—will withdraw the shareholder resolution they filed jointly. McDonald’s has agreed to survey its U.S. potato suppliers, compile a list of best practices in pesticide reduction and recommend those best practices to its global suppliers. It also will share its findings with investors and include the findings in its annual corporate social responsibility report. continue reading

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