Chipotle Mexican Grill has created an online platform to help its farmer suppliers sell their goods directly to consumers.
The Chipotle Virtual Farmers’ Market creates individual storefronts for farms and gathers them in one place on Chipotle’s website. Chipotle worked with e-commerce company Shopify to develop and design the sites and will cover Shopify hosting fees for two years.
The move is intended to give farmers a new revenue stream amid decreasing demand that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Chipotle said in a release.
The program is kicking off with four farms: Niman Ranch, Petaluma Creamery, McKaskle Family Farm and Meister Cheese. Customers can go to farmersmarket.chipotle.com to order from each farm.
"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," Chipotle Chief Marketing Officer Chris Brandt said in a statement. "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."
Chipotle is also supporting farmers via the Chipotle Seed Grants Program, which offers grants of $5,000 to 50 farmers under the age of 40.