Chipotle's carnitas crunch ends

by Erica Shaffer
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Chipotle Mexican Grill is serving carnitas at 90 percent of its restaurants.
Chipotle sticks to its animal welfare principles while solving its pork supplier problem.

DENVER – Carnitas fans rejoice: Chipotle Mexican Grill has restored supplies of pork to 90 percent of its restaurants. Earlier this year, Chipotle temporarily stopped selling carnitas at one-third of its stores after the company discovered that one of its primary pork suppliers was not meeting Chipotle’s animal welfare standards.

“The decision to stop selling Carnitas in many of our restaurants was an easy one,” said Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO at Chipotle. “We simply will not compromise our high standards for animal welfare. Since making this decision, we have heard from thousands of our customers who have expressed support for our decision, and commended us for standing on principle. Now, we are excited to have Carnitas back in nearly all of our restaurants, and want to thank our customers for their patience while we worked to address this issue.”

Carnitas are now available at most locations of Chipotle with the exception of Atlanta and Cleveland area restaurants and restaurants in North Carolina and South Carolina, the company said.

Chipotle requires its pork suppliers to provide access to the outdoors or deeply bedded barns. The company also forbids the use of antibiotics and gestation crates. In January, Chipotle temporarily suspended one of its primary pork suppliers after a routine audit revealed “inconsistencies between the supplier’s operations and Chipotle’s pork protocol,” the company said.

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