Chipotle has announced the launch of the Chipotle Virtual Farmers’ Market, which will allow farmers in the Chipotle supply chain to launch improved versions of their own eCommerce websites. According to this press release, “Through individualized online marketplaces, Chipotle suppliers will be able to sell meat, dairy and grain products, and other items directly to consumers across the country. As a digital innovator known for seeking long-term solutions, Chipotle is assisting in the development of each supplier's site, covering hosting fees on Shopify for two years, and supporting the design and development of the direct-to-consumer storefronts.”
"It can be intimidating for many family farms to change the way they do business, so we're giving our suppliers the right tools and resources to successfully launch improved eCommerce platforms," said Chris Brandt, Chief Marketing Officer, in a Chipotle press release. "Our Food with Integrity values start with our farmers and helping them adapt to new technologies and ways of reaching the consumer is crucial for both the future of the farming industry and Chipotle."
The brand has also announced that to kick-off the new program, four different Chipotle suppliers will be selling through their digital storefronts as a part of Virtual Farmers’ Market, and they are Niman Ranch, Petaluma Creamery, McKaskle Family Farm and Meister Cheese.
According to this press release, “Niman Ranch supplies restaurants with pork for carnitas and beef for steak and barbacoa. Petaluma Creamery provides Monterey Jack shredded cheese, Meister Cheese provides Monterey Jack shredded cheese and Monterey Jack cheese for Queso Blanco, and McKaskle Family Farm supplies organic white and brown rice. Each product used in Chipotle restaurants is called out next to each farm on the Virtual Farmers' Market homepage, so fans can easily order key ingredients in their favorite menu items.”
For those looking to purchase from these different storefronts, they are available directly at these links:
"This new Virtual Farmers' Market gives an opportunity for my farm, and hundreds of other small, sustainable farmers like me in the Niman Ranch network raising livestock humanely and without antibiotics, to remain sustainable and resilient through hard times," said Kirsten Eckerman, Wisconsin farmer for Niman Ranch, in the same Chipotle news release.
Chipotle and Shopify are working together to make sure their farm partners are getting onboarded virtually and getting acquainted with the Shopify system.