Chipotle Animated Short Film Shows Path to More Sustainable Farming

Soundtrack Cover of Coldplay's "The Scientist" Sung by Willie Nelson Available on iTunes; Proceeds to Benefit the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation

DENVER, Aug 30, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) has produced a new stop-motion animated short film called "Back to the Start" that depicts a farmer's journey to sustainable farming. The film -- a first for Chipotle -- was directed by London-based Johnny Kelly and features a cover of the Coldplay song "The Scientist," sung by music icon and family farm advocate Willie Nelson.

Chipotle plans to show the two-minute film nationally beginning in September. It will appear on nearly 5,700 movie theater screens in advance of feature films and will educate consumers about Chipotle's favored farming methods, and demonstrate the differences between industrial farming and more sustainable methods. It can also be viewed online at or on Facebook at

"We have always understood the importance of serving food that is raised right," said Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO of Chipotle. "We produced this film to help illustrate the choices people face in deciding what to eat, and hope that it will encourage people to choose food that is raised with respect for the land, the animals, and the farmers that produce it."

The film's subject matter is enhanced by Nelson's cover of Coldplay's song, "The Scientist." It follows the story of a farmer whose family farm has evolved over time into a factory farm. In a moment of self-reflection, the farmer realizes that his animal factory is not consistent with his vision for the farm. As the song lyrics suggest, the farmer goes "back to the start" by ridding his farm of its factory qualities and returning to more sustainable farming methods.

The song is available for purchase on iTunes, with proceeds ($.60 per download) benefitting the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation, which provides funding to support sustainable agriculture, family farming, and culinary education.

"We have a tremendous amount of respect for Willie Nelson, both as a musician and for his extraordinary efforts to support family farming," said Ells. "We are thrilled to have his support for this project and hope that working together, we can help people understand the importance of food that is raised right."

To view the video, visit or

About Chipotle

Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO, started Chipotle with the idea that food served fast did not have to be a typical fast food experience. Today, Chipotle continues to offer a focused menu of burritos, tacos, burrito bowls (a burrito without the tortilla) and salads made from fresh, high-quality raw ingredients, prepared using classic cooking methods and served in a distinctive atmosphere. Through our vision of Food With Integrity, Chipotle is seeking better food from using ingredients that are not only fresh, but that where possible are sustainably grown and naturally raised with respect for the animals, the land, and the farmers who produce the food. A similarly focused people culture, with an emphasis on identifying and empowering top performing employees, enables us to develop future leaders from within. Chipotle opened with a single restaurant in 1993 and currently operates more than 1,100 restaurants. For more information, visit

SOURCE: Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.


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Chipotle continues to offer a focused menu of burritos, tacos, burrito bowls (a burrito without the tortilla) and salads made from fresh, high-quality raw ingredients, prepared using classic cooking methods and served in a distinctive atmosphere.


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