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Chipotle expands locally grown produce program

By Bob Luder

Article from The Packer

Chipotle, the Denver-based fast-food burrito restaurant, is jumping further into the locally grown produce movement as it expands across the country.

This summer, the company says it will purchase at least 35% of one bulk produce item from local growers when seasonally available, according to a news release from the company. That’s an increase of 10% from what the company purchased locally in 2008.

More than 25 farms in its distribution network are expected to supply Chipotle, according to the release, with many of the fresh produce ingredients it uses, such as romaine lettuce, green bell peppers and onions.

“Our commitment to cooking and preparing food with more sustainable ingredients has always been about doing the right thing … the right thing for better-tasting food, the right thing for the environment, and the right thing for farmers,” Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-chief executive officer for Chipotle, said in the release. “Many consumers are just now starting to understand where their food somes from and how it’s raised, but we’ve known for a long time that there are many benefits to food that is raised right.”

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