Chipotle announced that it stopped serving Carnitas at more than a third of its restaurants earlier in 2015 after it suspended one of its primary pork suppliers when routine auditing found inconsistencies between the supplier’s operations and Chipotle’s pork standards that require all pigs are raised with access to the outdoors or deeply bedded barns, without the use of antibiotics, and with no gestation crates.“The decision to stop selling Carnitas in many of our restaurants was an easy one,” said Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO at Chipotle. “We simply will not compromise our high standards for animal welfare. Since making this decision, we have heard from thousands of our customers who have expressed support for our decision, and commended us for standing on principle. Now, we are excited to have Carnitas back in nearly all of our restaurants, and want to thank our customers for their patience while we worked to address this issue.”
Chipotle has been able to replenish its pork supply working with existing suppliers and by adding a new partner, United Kingdom-based Karro Food. The company stated that it prefers domestic sources for all of its meat, but added that the U.S. pork supply that was in compliance with the chain’s standards was not enough to continue to serve the pork topping at all of its restaurants.
Carnitas is now available at all Chipotle locations in the U.S. with the exception of restaurants in the Cleveland and Atlanta areas, and in North Carolina and South Carolina.