There’s been a lot of chatter lately about Chipotle’s decision to outsource pork production to the United Kingdom. People seem impressed with Chipotle’s commitment to social responsibility and animal rights. On paper, it sounds like a great deal.
But there’s another side to the story that Chipotle doesn’t like to mention. We’ve had a lot to say on this already. (You can click here for the basics.) For those of you wanting a more in-depth, serious look, read on.
Chipotle now gets much of their pork from a UK-based supplier. This supplier supposedly meets all of Chipotle’s health and food safety requirements, except for a major one: they allow antibiotics to be administered to their pork. This flexibility doesn’t exist for the American pork farmers that Chipotle sources from.
Chipotle is effectively damaging American pork farmers’ businesses, reputations, and livelihoods. These are everyday Americans who feed their families based upon their ability to buy, raise, and sell pork responsibly.
There are hard and fast federal rules governing American pork farming. Farmers are required to work closely with veterinarians to determine safe antibiotic administration techniques and quantities. All medication is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before distribution and is monitored by the Animal Health Institute, the Food and Safety Inspection Service, the FDA, and other entities governed by the Animal Drug Free User Act.
American producers can’t subvert these rules. They wouldn’t risk trying even if they could. Many of these producers grew up on farms and are some of the best at what they do; they’ve clearly figured out that the public cares about responsibly raised pork. It disappoints us that Chipotle has insinuated that they don’t trust American pork farmers to stick to the standards required by federal law.
Normally, Chipotle has a good reputation. They are known for their commitment to source locally grown, antibiotic-free, and GMO-free ingredients. They must have been aware that shifting to an international supplier would damage this.
Chipotle built their brand on “Buying Local” and “Food with Integrity.” Now, they’ve abandoned their American pork suppliers with a new mantra deemphasizing “Buying Local” and shifting their “no exceptions” stance on antibiotics. Moving away from their core tenets translates to an irresponsible and hypocritical identity.
The Baconeers are not happy with Chipotle’s decision. We support our American pork farmers and we want them to know. Unlike Chipotle, we trust them. We like them. And we believe in them. After all, they’re the ones who give us bacon. If you agree, please share this link with every pork lover you know by emailing them or clicking the icons below.