Our Great Chipotle Carnitas Nightmare Is Over

By Mike Pomranz |
FWX CHIPOTLES NEW BURRITO

© Kristoffer Tripplaar / Alamy

The great carnitas shortage of 2015 appears to be almost over, but Chipotle needed a little help from our friends across the pond to do it.

The American burrito chain announced that they’ve turned to the UK’s Karro Food to fill gaps in their pork supply. The problem began back in January when Chipotle cut ties with one of their pork suppliers because they discovered they didn’t meet their responsibility standards.  That left about a third of Chipotle locations without their coveted pork protein option.

With the announcement that Karro Food will cover the shortage, Chipotle predicts that carnitas should be back everywhere by the end of the year.

In some ways, the announcement also puts American pork producers on notice, since Chipotle wasn’t able to find any US farmers they felt were up to the task.  “It has always been our preference to get our pork (and other meats) from domestic suppliers, but right now the supply simply isn't available,” a Chipotle spokesperson told CNNMoney. “Upwards of 95% of pork produced in this country is conventionally raised, so the available supply that meets our high standards is relatively small.”

It’s an admirable stance to take, though one has to wonder if the added environmental impact of shipping large quantities of pork across the Atlantic Ocean is actually any better of a solution.

Related: Chipotle Pulls Plug on Pork in Third Location 
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