Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) may have to bend its rules to supply customers with beef this year.
Chipotle has a set of standards that include not using any beef that has been treated with hormones or antibiotics. The company refers to this kind of meat as “responsibly raised” and began using beef raised this way in 1999. The restaurant maintains that it isn’t going to serve beef that hasn’t been responsibly raised, but also says that it won’t end contracts with ranchers that use antibiotics to treat ill animals. Chipotle requires ranchers that use antibiotics on animals to separate them from the herd so that it doesn’t accidentally buy them. The Mexican grill has faced shortages of responsibly raised beef in the past. When this happens the restaurant puts up notices to inform its customers that the meat being used doesn’t meet the company’s standards, reports Nation’s Restaurant News.
Chipotle is likely having a hard time obtaining responsibly raised beef due to last year’s drought, which caused beef production in the United States to hit a 21-year low in July.