After routine audit of its suppliers, Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. suspended pork purchased from one of its major supplier.
Chris Arnold, Chipotle communication director, told Feedstuffs “The standards for all of our responsibly raised meats are very high, but the differences in animal welfare are greatest with pork. Given these stark differences, serving pork from conventionally raised pigs is not an option to us.”
Further he added, “Our Responsibly Raised pork comes from pigs that are raised with outdoor access or in deeply bedded pens, and without the use of antibiotics. Conventionally raised pigs generally do not have access to the outdoors, spend their lives in densely crowded buildings, live on hard slatted floors with no bedding and no ability to root, and are given antibiotics to keep them from getting sick. We would rather not serve pork at all, than serve pork from animals that are raised in this way."
The company would not release the name of the supplier not in compliance.
As a result of the supplier not complying with its animal welfare standards, approximately one-third of Chipotle restaurants will not be serving pork.
Chipotle is currently exploring other options for its pork supply.
“We are exploring many options to add to our pork supply, including adding new suppliers, finding additional cuts of pork to use, and growing the supply among existing suppliers. Replacing the supply we have lost in these ways will take some time, but it is important to us to maintain our high standards for pork and we will continue to see some shortage while we work to increase the available supply,” concluded Arnold.
At result of the pork shortage, Niman Ranch - an already approved pork supplier for Chipotle, has agreed to increase its pork supply to the restaurant chain by 20%.
According to Chipotle, only 6-7% of Chipotle customers order the pork featured dish - Carintas.