Commissioner Staples Applauds Chipotle For Accepting Invitation to Discuss How American Beef Industry Can Help Supply Restaurant Chain (6/26/2014)

AUSTIN – Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples today praised Chipotle Mexican Grill CEO Steve Ells for agreeing to open a discussion about how the growing restaurant chain can look to Texas ranchers to help supply beef for its restaurants rather than choosing to import meat from Australia.

“I applaud Mr. Ells for reaching out and offering to provide additional information on how more Texas and U.S. ranchers can supply beef to Chipotle,” Commissioner Staples said. “Chipotle has an important place in the U.S. food marketplace. They share the same basic interest as U.S. beef producers, and that’s to maintain high standards while delivering quality food to their customers. My goal is to help forge the natural marriage between quality beef and consumer interest in buying American food.”

In his letter to Commissioner Staples, Ells writes:

“I would be more than happy to provide more information about our sourcing protocols to you and your team, as well as any ranchers interested in supplying beef to Chipotle, as we are always interested in working with additional suppliers who raise their animals according to our standards.”

Last week, Commissioner Staples sent a letter to Ells questioning why Chipotle made the decision to import beef from more than 8,000 miles away in Australia, and in turn, increase the company’s carbon emissions and costs. Commissioner Staples also expressed concern in the letter about Chipotle’s lack of outreach to the Texas Department of Agriculture and the state’s major cattle and beef organizations regarding supply opportunities for the restaurant chain. Texas is home to the largest cattle herd in the nation, and Texas ranchers are always looking for new opportunities to grow their businesses.

Commissioner Staples looks forward to fostering a dialogue with Chipotle’s executive team and Texas beef industry leaders.

To review the response letter from Chipotle, click here.