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Chipotle Finally Has a Remedy for the Tragic Carnitas Shortage

Carnitas will return to the menu by the end of the year.

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Brenna Houck is a Cities Manager for the Eater network. She previously edited Eater Detroit and reported for Eater. You can follow her on the internet at @brennahouck.

Could the Great Chipotle Carnitas Famine of 2015 finally be coming to an end? A spokesperson for the chain confirms to CNN Money that United Kingdom-based Karro Food will begin supplying the chain with "responsibly raised pork." The company expects to see the shortage remedied by the end of the year.

Chipotle has lead in the industry in increasing standards for humanely raised meat and elimination of GMO products; however, the chain acknowledges to CNN Money that supply is still struggling to meet demand:

"It has always been our preference to get our pork (and other meats) from domestic suppliers, but right now the supply simply isn't available . . . Upwards of 95% of pork produced in this country is conventionally raised, so the available supply that meets our high standards is relatively small."

In January, the company began experiencing a pork shortage after one of its suppliers failed to meet the chains standards for responsibly raised meat. Carnitas were removed from a third of all Chipotle locations nationwide.

More and more chains are jumping on the ethical and non-GMO bandwagon. In 2012, Dunkin Donuts announced that it would use cage-free eggs in its breakfast sandwiches and source pork from farmers who don't use gestation crates. In March of this year, McDonald's committed to serving "chicken raised without antibiotics that are important to human medicine" and "milk from cows that are not treated with rbST, an artificial growth hormone." Even Starbucks continues "expanding" its supply of cage-free eggs. But the recent carnitas shortage raises the question. Can farms keep up with consumers demand for more ethical ingredients?