Great news for people screaming for the return of Chipotle’s carnitas: The chain’s gotten crafty, found an unlikely supplier, and promises things will be back to normal in just a few more months. Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold tells Bloomberg the company has struck a deal with Karro Food, a fairly large meat purveyor in the U.K. He says the first order has already been shipped over, and that about 100 Florida locations will be the first to serve it very shortly. As “supply increases” in coming months, more markets will get the pork, and the company estimates carnitas will make its grand and final return nationwide “before the end of the year.”
Chipotle’s sales numbers have fallen sharply because of the shortage, and this deal perhaps hints at the chain’s urgency to remedy the problem. While the company says everybody’s “excited” about the quality of the new meat, Arnold also notes — probably just to go ahead and get it out there now — that Karro does use antibiotics “when necessary.” Yet the whole reason the chain took half a year to get pork back on the menu was ostensibly because there are “no quick fixes” when you’re a company that’s committed to antibiotics-free meat. But Chipotle also says it’s not sacrificing its ideals in the name of porky profit; instead saying “we are proud to be serving pork from Karro because the responsible way Karro uses antibiotics is consistent with their extremely high animal-welfare standards,” which, sure, okay.