Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Willie Nelson provides song for Chipotle film

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

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