Chipotle, the fast-food chain that has been making strides with sustainable meat, is now ramping up local foods with a promise to source at least 25 percent of one produce item from small and midsize farms within 200 miles.
The company is getting a lot of publicity with the move, but it's not alone. Bon Appetit Management Co., the less well-known food service company that runs more than 500 cafeterias for places like Oracle, Yahoo, Seattle Art Museum, and my alma mater, Reed College, sources about 40 percent of all its supplies locally (though that may include bread from a local bakery).
All of this is great news for local farmers, whose biggest challenge now is meeting the robust demand. And it also creates a challenge for upstart food distributors which will feed the markets with local farm fare.
Let a thousand new local businesses and farms bloom.
- Samuel Fromartz