retail news in context, analysis with attitude reports that "Chipotle Mexican Grill plans to serve more than 15 million pounds of locally grown produce in its restaurants this year, up from its 2012 goal of 10 million pounds, according to a company press release.

According to the story, "Most produce travels some 1,500 miles from where it is grown to where it is consumed. All of Chipotle’s locally grown produce comes from within 350 miles of the restaurants where it will be served. Chipotle will work with a network of more than 70 local, family-owned farms to provide bell peppers, red onions, jalapeños, oregano, and romaine lettuce for its restaurants. Chipotle restaurants in Florida and California also serve locally grown tomatoes, as well as lemons and avocados in California. Chipotle’s use of locally grown produce is rooted in its belief that local produce arrives at its restaurants closer to the time it is harvested and results in better tasting food. Supporting local farms also creates and sustains opportunities for family farms in rural communities around the country, according to the company."
KC's View:
It was just last week that Chipotle said that it will begin labeling all ingredients in its tacos, burritos and other products that contain genetically modified ingredients, saying this is part of its 'Food with Integrity' approach. Not everybody is going to be able to do what Chipotle is doing, but I think it is very smart ... and I think it clearly establishes differential advantages and how it can be defined as something other than your typical fast food restaurant.