In 2011, Chipotle’s local produce haul included 3.6 million pounds of bell peppers, more than 400,000 pounds of jalapenos, 2 million pounds of red onions, 4.7 million pounds of romaine lettuce, and more than a combined 300,000 pounds of cilantro and oregano.
Beyond this commitment, Chipotle continues to serve significant quantities of organically grown beans and cilantro. It is also working with Food Alliance certified growers to source beans that use conservation tillage methods, which reduce soil erosion. The company sources 100 percent of its meat from animals that are naturally raised (the animals are never given antibiotics or added hormones), and increasing amounts of milk from pasture-raised dairy cattle for its cheese and sour cream.
“Finding local suppliers to meet our needs is challenging, but very much worth the effort,” said Ells. “We think it’s important to serve great tasting food, made with ingredients from more sustainable sources in a way that is accessible to everyone, and locally grown produce is a big part of that.”
About ChipotleSteve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO, started Chipotle with the idea that food served fast did not have to be a typical fast food experience. Today, Chipotle continues to offer a focused menu of burritos, tacos, burrito bowls (a burrito without the tortilla) and salads made from fresh, high-quality raw ingredients, prepared using classic cooking methods and served in a distinctive atmosphere. Through our vision of Food With Integrity, Chipotle is seeking better food from using ingredients that are not only fresh, but that—where possible—are sustainably grown and naturally raised with respect for the animals, the land, and the farmers who produce the food. A similarly focused people culture, with an emphasis on identifying and empowering top performing employees, enables us to develop future leaders from within. Chipotle opened with a single restaurant in 1993 and currently operates more than 1,300 restaurants. For more information, visit Chipotle.com. Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=50357716&lang=en