Chipotle Mexican Grill today announced the Aluminaries Project, an accelerator program designed to support ventures from across the country that are building sustainable, equitable, and efficient food systems. Joining the program as a mentor is Grammy-winning musician and farmer, Jason Mraz, who is a longstanding avocado supplier for Chipotle restaurants.
The industry-leading program, now in its third year, is sponsored by the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation in partnership with Uncharted, both nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations. From now until May 21, 2021, ventures may submit applications by visiting https://uncharted.org/program/Chipotle-Aluminaries-Three, for the opportunity to receive seven months of customized support, including mentorship from Jason Mraz and other industry leaders, individualized investor introductions, and Chipotle VIP cards, which will provide real food to fuel work sessions all year long.
"As a company that is committed to supporting the farming industry, Chipotle is calling upon growth stage ventures to help identify innovative solutions to solve the challenges within the nation's supply chain," says Laurie Schalow, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Chipotle. "We believe that how we grow our food is how we grow our future and look forward to partnering with Jason Mraz and others who are passionate about helping us cultivate a better world."
"Learning to work with land, trees, and seasons has been a truly humbling experience. I've seen firsthand how some farming practices can benefit the earth versus how other, less-careful choices contribute to pollution and the climate crisis," says Jason Mraz. "At The Mranch, we prioritize regenerative, organic farming, growing resilience in addition to good foods. I believe the future of farming is innovative and spirited, where each of us see ourselves as a steward for the earth, while advancing equity for all workers involved."
Chipotle is once again shedding light on the issues that exist within our food system and showing how greater awareness of where food comes from and how it is grown can help everyone. Not only has the agricultural industry lost 40 times more farmers than it has gained over the last decade, the events of the past year further exposed other fragilities. Farmers in parts of the west endured a difficult summer of wildfires that often threatened to destroy their land. The COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted businesses, workers and disrupted national supply chains. Additionally, all across the country, the farming community reckoned with hard truths about racial equality and inclusion.
While acknowledging the hardships of the past, Chipotle is taking a fresh look at the food system and reimagining what it can be — technologically efficient, able to meet the demands of our growing population, and equitable for all farmers. In pursuit of this mission, it is seeking its third class of companies for the Chipotle Aluminaries Project. Submissions for the Chipotle Aluminaries Project become the property of Chipotle and will not be returned. Finalists will be selected by Uncharted in its discretion.