DENVER — Continuing its dedication to local produce, Chipotle Mexican Grill expects to increase its local produce sourcing from 5 million pounds to 10 million pounds this year, the restaurant chain announced last week.
Chipotle has continued to expand its local produce offerings since 2008, when the company announced its commitment to “serve at least 25% of at least one produce item from local sources in each of its markets when seasonally available.” In 2010, Chipotle moved its goal to 50%. The company defines “local” as produce grown within 350 miles of the restaurant location that will serve the product.
“Our commitment to serving food made with better ingredients from more sustainable sources is one of the key drivers of our business,” said Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-chief executive officer of Chipotle, in a written statement.
“While sourcing produce locally can be difficult — particularly in regions with short growing seasons — we continue to find like-minded suppliers to allow us to serve this better food. Not only is local produce fresher and better tasting, but it also helps support the environment and regional farming communities around the country.”
Chipotle's sustainable sourcing also extends to meat, beans and dairy. Chipotle serves the most naturally raised meat of all restaurant companies, according to a press release. Chipotle also uses rBGH-free sour cream and cheese, and will use 40% organic beans this year.