After years of attacking standard agriculture and crop biotechnology, Chipotle now seems to have discovered a love for the American farmer this is as warm and welcoming as the gooey core of a steak burrito. With the release of its “Cultivate the Future of Farming” marketing campaign, the company seeks to raise consciousness in regards to the hardships facing American agriculture and be offering some recommendations and seed grants to address the issues. According to the marketing campaign site:
It’s time to take actual steps to give the following technology of farmers a bright long run. Through our purpose to Cultivate a Better World, we’re placing techniques in position that make an actual have an effect on, including seed grants, education and scholarships, and 3-year contracts. Our vision is bold, but we’re beginning with a mission to cultivate the future of farming by means of focusing on red meat, pork, and dairy.
It is good to peer a company raising awareness about these issues. But given Chipotle’s previous cozy relationship with organic food entrepreneurs, this seems more like a advertising stunt to woo shoppers who’re rising an increasing number of concerned in regards to the status of American farms, and less like a real instance of philanthropy.
Chipotle is really proper about something. The disaster in agriculture is actual. Farmers are facing low prices for his or her products, astronomical costs, and strangling regulation. Farms, from commodity crops to dairies, are going out of business day by day. Farmer suicides are a barometer of how serious the issue is.
However, Chipotle’s new ag-vertisment turns out too little, too overdue. The threats to farmers and the public’s adverse belief of agriculture didn’t appear to trouble the company only a few years in the past. For instance, it’s 2014 video Farmed and Dangerous was an assault on large-scale animal agriculture, the industry that produces the elements that move into Chipotle’s burritos. Farmed and Dangerous was once not the restaurant chain’s first effort, either. The video quick The Scarecrow falsely depicted a sad, dystopian global of dairy production through which forlorn cows are locked in stacked metal bins as milk is extracted by way of an extensive community of plumbing.
And in fact, Chipotle’s penetrating marketing campaign towards genetic engineering (GE) sought to capitalize at the momentum of a number of failed GMO labeling efforts, which were designed to demonize crop biotechnology by means of suggesting to consumers that GE seeds have been dangerous—an allegation known to be false.
Let’s get real. Chipotle’s selections to criticize agriculture and then include it were not born of altruism. Public-facing company positions are spawned from focus groups and surveys. As a multinational, billion-dollar food empire, Chipotle is not any other. The corporate’s ad campaigns intention to strengthen shoppers’ perceptions and identity, showing that Big Burrito shares their values. That is what we see on this newest pro-farm campaign. The public is becoming increasingly more aware of the fragile state of US agriculture and the crisis that has hit rural North America exhausting, and Chipotle is responding.
So is “Cultivate the Future of Farming” simply an ag-washing decoration to exploit farmer hardship, or is that this a genuine exchange of heart?
If it is indeed the latter, it wishes first of all an apology—a decent one. Chipotle needs to publicly reject its anti-science positions and profound misrepresentation of agriculture. In the six years since the fast food chain’s anti-farming efforts hit a feverish tempo, public perception has modified. The fear-based incorrect information campaigns are failing, and time has now not treated such efforts neatly. Chipotle’s videos are a shameful reminder of the rhetoric that used to be so prevalent simply a short while ago.
Imagine where we’d be these days if in 2014 Chipotle and different manufacturers invested closely in research, rural psychological well being, or assets to convey precision agriculture to farmers. I Think the belief of Chipotle and the belief of crop and animal production can be very different.
Perhaps an important takeaway is that you simply shouldn’t chew the hand that feeds in the first place. Targeting farmers who produce the products you sell is dangerous industry—and it threatens a vital trade all of us rely on.