NEWPORT BEACH, CALIF. – Chipotle Mexican Grill is helping its supply chain partners to develop a new stream of revenue during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Chipotle Virtual Farmers’ Market provides the company’s suppliers with individual, direct-to-consumer e-commerce sites.
Chipotle is assisting in the development of each supplier’s digital storefront and paying for hosting fees on Shopify for two years. The company has worked with Shopify to lead virtual onboarding sessions with the suppliers to help them get acquainted with Shopify’s e-commerce platform.
“It can be intimidating for many family farms to change the way they do business, so we’re giving our suppliers the right tools and resources to successfully launch improved eCommerce platforms,” said Chris Brandt, chief marketing officer. “Our Food with Integrity values start with our farmers and helping them adapt to new technologies and ways of reaching the consumer is crucial for both the future of the farming industry and Chipotle.”
Niman Ranch, Petaluma Creamery, McKaskle Family Farm and Meister Cheese will kickoff the program. Each item used by Chipotle is called out next to each supplier. Niman Ranch supplies restaurants with pork for carnitas and beef for steak and barbacoa. Petaluma Creamery provides Monterey Jack shredded cheese, Meister Cheese provides Monterey Jack shredded cheese and Monterey Jack cheese for Queso Blanco, and McKaskle Family Farm supplies organic white and brown rice.
“This new Virtual Farmers’ Market gives an opportunity for my farm, and hundreds of other small, sustainable farmers like me in the Niman Ranch network raising livestock humanely and without antibiotics, to remain sustainable and resilient through hard times,” said Kirsten Eckerman, Wisconsin farmer for Niman Ranch.