Chipotle Invests in Local Fresh Produce Growers
NEWPORT BEACH, CA - Chipotle has long been at the forefront of the fast-casual chain sector for its commitment to fresh and local ingredients across its menu. Now, the company is doubling down on this commitment by upping its investment in growers, farmers, and local fresh produce. This week, Chipotle published its 2019 Sustainability Report Update Update, in which it builds upon the goals set forth in its 2018 Sustainability Report and outlines its strategy to help farmers find homes for their product.
"The work we've accomplished in 2019 is exciting and sets the tone for our continued investment, growth, and support for the farming community," said Brian Niccol, Chairman and CEO of Chipotle. "We will leverage our economic influence to provide the education, training, and tools needed to cultivate the future of farming."
Caitlin Leibert, Head of Sustainability at Chipotle, added, "When you eat Chipotle, you are supporting a business with integrity that is actively fighting to Cultivate a Better World. As a very public and engaged brand, we have a great responsibility to ensure action and accountability in the areas of sustainability and transparency, and I am so proud of our success in 2019 and inspired for the future ahead."
Chipotle’s commitment to local farmers first began in 2016 after it created the Chipotle Local Grower Support Initiative, which provides financial support to small- and medium-sized growers of fresh produce for personnel, technology, training, and testing mandated for suppliers. Since its inception, the initiative has helped Chipotle increase its total purchases of locally grown produce by 20 percent in 2019 from 29 million pounds to 35.5 million pounds of fresh produce, according to a press release.
In addition, Chipotle is also supporting farmers with its Local Growers Program and its partnership with the National Young Farmers Coalition. As part of this partnership, the fast-casual chain is empowering the next generation of farmers by offering education, scholarships, grants, and three-year contracts to young farmers—with the company announcing this week that it is awarding 50 recipients $5,000 grants each.
"Young farmers and ranchers are providing food and essential services for their communities and are facing greater challenges than ever before," said Sophie Ackoff, Co-Executive Director of the National Young Farmers Coalition. "We are thrilled to partner with Chipotle to make an investment in this next generation and to provide critical funding to help them overcome the challenges they face launching and building their new farm businesses."
Lastly, Chipotle is supporting growth-stage ventures across the country via its accelerator program, Chipotle Aluminaries Project 2.0. This program aims to help advance innovative solutions in farming.
To find out more about all that Chipotle is doing to support growers and farmers, local fresh produce, and sustainability initiatives, click here for the press release in its entirety. And stay tuned to AndNowUKnow as we continue bringing our produce industry the freshest news.