In a rare act of corporate transparency, the chain offered the following in a blog post:
Chipotle recently stopped serving carnitas in many of our restaurants. This shortage occurred because our animal welfare auditors found one of our suppliers to be violating some of Chipotle’s core animal welfare standards, and we suspended all purchases from this supplier. This meant we were unable to supply about one-third of our restaurants with carnitas.
At issue is the fact that so few pork suppliers meet Chipotle’s stringent standards for the way the pigs are raised and cared for. The post reports that 95 percent of pigs in the U.S. are raised “conventionally,” which can often mean some pretty deplorable conditions.
“When faced with a choice between serving conventional pork in some of our restaurants or nothing at all, we chose to not serve carnitas at all,” a brand manager writes.
But help is on the way. Chipotle looked abroad to find more suppliers. The post includes a video of its new supplier, Karro Foods, which is located in Scotland: