Chipotle's furthering its quest to create a more sustainable fast food system. Today the quickservice chain unveiled its new nonprofit organization, the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation, to help support sustainable food practices. It's also debuted a short animated film, which will air prior to feature films in theaters nationwide.
The spot, titled "Back to the Start," is about a fictional farmer's venture into industrial farming practices and his eventual return to a more sustainable way of life. For the short, Chipotle commissioned Willie Nelson to sing Coldplay's "The Scientist." The cover song is available for download on iTunes, with proceeds going to the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation.
The new foundation plans to support organizations for family farms, food education for younger generations, and ranchers and farmers who are working on more sustainable practices. Chipotle will host a free music, art, and food day in Chicago called "Cultivate Chicago," with chefs Michael Chiarello, Richard Blais, Jonathan Waxman, and Amanda Freitag cooking and speaking. Similar events in other US cities will follow.
It's encouraging to see such a large food company setting an example for double bottom line investments; hopefully other fast food chains will take note and follow suit with similar social responsibility initiatives. I'd love to hear more about how the organization will support sustainability, though. What do you think of Chipotle's high-priority initiative? Would you attend a Cultivate event in your city?