A Farmer Who’s Day Job Is All about Music

The Lempert Report
May 05, 2021

Chipotle is taking the lead to lead the industry to a new lens

Chipotle Mexican Grill announced the Aluminaries Project, which is a unique and important nonprofit accelerator program designed to support ventures from across the country that are building sustainable, equitable, and efficient food systems according to QSR Magazine. What is notable is that joining the program as a mentor is Grammy-winning musician and farmer, Jason Mraz, who is a longstanding avocado supplier for Chipotle restaurants. From now until May 21, 2021, ventures may submit applications by visiting the website listed below  https://uncharted.org/program/Chipotle-Aluminaries-Three. What you get if you are accepted in the program is an 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.

"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." Good for Mraz and Chipotle! Chipotle continues to be  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. QSR reports that farmers in parts of the west endured a difficult summer of wildfires that often threatened to destroy their land. And now California, the number one ag state is faced with yet another drought. Then there’s the reality that the COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted businesses, workers and disrupted national supply chains. Chipotle is taking the lead to lead the industry to a new lens: 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.