Saying that he was “shocked” over the decision, Texas Agricultural Commissioner Todd Staples said in a letter on Monday that Chipotle’s recent decision to import beef from Australia rather than Texas is “misguided” and “irresponsible.”
Staples said that the “shock” came from the growing fast casual Mexican chain’s decision to purchase beef from 8,000 miles away according to an article from MySanAntonio.com, saying that there are plenty of producers in the Lone Star State.
According to Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold, the company’s standards for ethical, healthier beef cannot be met in the U.S. due to low numbers.
Arnold said that it would be his preference to get domestic beef for the company’s products, but it was “just not available,” he said.
An ongoing drought leading to the smallest herd in decades is partially responsible, the company’s CEO Steve Ellis said in the Huffington Post recently . A total of 89.3 million head comprised the U.S. cattle herd in January according to the article, the lowest number since 1952.
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