McDonald's senor global supply chain manager, Gary Johnson, stressed the importance of establishing traceable beef programs worldwide. Consumers want to know where their food is coming from, he said, and consumer trust is of paramount importance to all businesses, especially those in the food industry. The call for action comes in light of the fact that the British beef industry is still recovering from the massive loss of consumer confidence it suffered following a mad cow outbreak in the mid 1990s. It is also, in part, due to the success of the Australian beef industry in implementing a system to track all beef cows back to their farm of origin. Johnson called for future programs to be modeled on the Australian example.
While there are some farms who take it upon themselves to offer traceable beef, many in the cattle industry oppose these measures, largely on the grounds that it would be too expensive to implement and maintain. If a national or global plan were in place, however, consumers and businesses would rise to meet the price changes. "Any extra expense to introduce traceability today represents an essential investment in the security of the future safety of the food supply, [Johnson] said."