Chipotle Mexican Grill is helping farmers who support its supply chain with a new program that will improve every farm’s e-commerce website, the company said on Tuesday.
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The program, Chipotle Virtual Farmers Market, will be hosted on Shopify, a multinational e-commerce platform and point-of-sale system. Farmers participating in this program will be able to sell meat, dairy and grain products directly to US consumers.
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Additionally, Chipotle will pay for hosting these new farm websites for two years, which can range from $ 29 to $ 299 per month, depending on Shopify’s current pricing.
The Mexican-inspired quick service chain added that it would also provide design and development support.
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“It can be intimidating for many family businesses to change the way they do business, so we give our suppliers the right tools and resources to successfully launch improved e-commerce platforms,” wrote Chipotle’s Marketing Director, Chris Brandt, in a statement. “Our Food with Integrity values start with our farmers and helping them adapt to new technologies and ways to reach the consumer is crucial to both the future of the agriculture industry and Chipotle.”
While Chipotle and Shopify reportedly held “virtual onboarding sessions” last month, four Chipotle vendors – Niman Ranch, Petaluma Creamery, McKaskle Family Farm, and Meister Cheese – are kicking off the program with custom e-commerce websites.
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All four vendors are featured on the homepage of the dedicated Chipotle Virtual Farmers Market website.
“This new virtual farmer’s market empowers my farm and hundreds of other small, sustainable farmers like me in the Niman Ranch network raising cruelty-free and antibiotic-free livestock, to remain sustainable and resilient despite tough times,” Niman’s Kirsten Eckerman Ranch said in Chipotle’s press release.
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In 2019, the global online grocery market size was valued at $ 189.81 billion, according to market research firm Grand View Research. The market is expected to register a compound annual growth rate of 24.8% by 2027.