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Chipotle offering seed money for food safety audits

 Seed Money: Third-Party Food Safety Audit Grant Presented by Chipotle is now accepting grant applications – DEADLINE FEBRUARY 28 


Chipotle Mexican Grill and Localecopia, Inc. would like to formally announce the opening of the “Seed Money: Third-Party Food Safety Audit Grant Presented by Chipotle.”   This assistance grant was created to help reimburse local growers for the expense in obtaining independent / third party food safety audits now required by most large buyers.  There will be five selected grant winners.   Each winner will receive $1,000 towards the reimbursement of their farm’s third party audit. In some cases the expense of the audit will not exceed the amount of the grant.  In those cases the grant award winners will still be issued a check for the full $1,000.     


Winners of this assistance grant will be announced at the April 2015 Localecopia Meet & Greet.


Contest Rules:


1.  Applications for the 3rd Party Food Safety Audit Grant will consist of:  

a.  A letter from grower indicating their interest in the grant by answering the question, “Why should I be one of the Florida farmers to receive a $1000 grant to use toward the cost of my third-party food safety audit?” 

b.  A copy of the growers on-farm food safety plan. 

c.  The completed packet sent to:    Localecopia, Inc.   P.O. Box 844   Palm Beach, Florida 33480   OR   

d.  Submissions will be evaluated by both Localecopia, Inc. and the Chipotle Produce Food Safety Analyst


2.  Third-party audit certification must come from an approved third-party auditing firm.  Approved third-party audit firms include: AIB, ASI, all GSFI benchmarked firms, NSF Agriculture, NSF Supplier Assurance Audit, PrimusLabs, SCS, Silliker, Steritech, NCSI, and USDA.

3.  Qualifying Florida farmers must grow produce crops.   Qualifying Florida farmers are not required to grow Chipotle-specific produce items.   However, as an additional incentive, Chipotle will buy produce from winning growers assuming that:   

a. The grower passes the audit

b. The grower passes a Chipotle on-site assessment 

c. They grow Chipotle produce items,    

d. The grower’s produce meets Chipotle’s quality standards

e. It is logistically possible to do so.


4.  Checks will be issued upon receipt of confirmation that the audit has been performed. Each grower will need to provide their form W-9  in order to receive the funds.



1.  Submissions accepted from January 1, 2015 through February 28, 2015.

2.  Winners will be informed by March 31, 2015.

3.  All winners will be announced at Localecopia’s April 6, 2015 Meet & Greet event, and through a Chipotle press release.