[Tourism] RESTAURANTS : FOOD DRINK NUTRITION DIET: FOOD: LOCALLY SOURCED FOOD : FOOD DRINK NUTRITION DIETA: FOOD POISONING AND TOXICITY : LAW: CASES: Chipotle Scandal Could Ruin Locally-Sourced Food for Restaurant Chains

 

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RESTAURANTS :

FOOD DRINK NUTRITION DIET: FOOD: LOCALLY SOURCED FOOD :

FOOD DRINK NUTRITION DIETA: FOOD POISONING AND TOXICITY :

LAW: CASES:

Chipotle Scandal Could Ruin Locally-Sourced Food for Restaurant Chains

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Chipotle Scandal Could Ruin Locally-Sourced Food for Restaurant Chains

Ethan Wolff-Mann

January 7, 2016

Money

Time

http://time.com/money/4170206/chipotle-scandal-local-food/

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Large farming operations enjoyed significant economies of scale over small, local farmers for decades. When a national supermarket or restaurant chain was in need of massive quantities of, say lettuce or onions, the company had no choice but to turn to huge farms rather than local mom-and-pop operators.

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But recently, unlikely as it may have seemed in a culinary landscape dominated by golden arches and an industrial meat machine, American stomachs have found a huge hunger for ethical and healthier options. Trendy diets, environmental causes, globalization, and a heightened focus on health have increased scrutiny placed on where food comes from, and locally-grown fare has become all the rage. When a farmer with a face is up against a corporate food machine, its clear who wins the PR battle from the consumer point of view.

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Chipotles ambitious Food with integrity marketing campaigns that boasted of Responsibly Raised meats. The company is known for committing to organic ingredients, andto the chagrin of sometaking a proud anti-GMO stance. And, Chipotle has placed an emphasis on trying to buy local ingredients.

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The whole locavore movement picked up significant steam about a decade ago, and Chipotle and its astute marketing team has embraced it, regularly increasing and trumpeting its commitment to locally-grown produce.

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snip

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But that party might be over.

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Sourcing ingredients from many different small local sources is a compliance nightmare, as far as food safety is concerned, due to some serious diseconomies of scale. Instead of dealing with one firm, dealing with a hundred firms does increase risk, John Gray, an associate professor of operations at The Ohio State Universitys Fisher College of Business, told CNBC. Theres also varying food-safety and farming standards around the country, and farming practices like fertilizing with fresh manure present significant issues.

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snip

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On the negative side, gathering ingredients from multiple local farms means that there are more chances for contamination. Chipotle has announced it will scale back local foods immediately in the wake of the E. coli and norovirus outbreaks that have affected restaurants around the country, and that have caused the companys stock to tank, dropping over 40% since its late-summer high-water mark. Because one of the biggest selling points for Chipotle was its high-quality, healthy ingredients, the scandals have caused enormous damage to its reputation.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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