"From what we used to send them last week, we immediately increased it 15 to 20 percent," said Jeff Tripician, executive vice president of Niman Ranch, a pork supplier to Chipotle.
"They will start receiving the increased amount on Monday, and I think it takes about a week to ship to the stores," he added in a telephone interview.
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Chris Arnold, Chipotle's communications director, confirmed in an email that Niman has said it should be able to provide additional supply.
"To overcome the shortfall, we are looking for additional supply from existing suppliers (like Niman), considering adding to the cuts that we use to create additional supply, and looking for additional suppliers," wrote Arnold. "We hope to find additional pork through all of these avenues, but don't know how much we will be able to get, or how long the shortfall will continue."
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Niman will plan to keep increasing production by 15 to 20 percent each week until Chipotle indicates it does not need these higher amounts.
Increasing hog production isn't instantaneous. A typical birth-to-plate timeline for hogs is about nine months, Tripician said.
To boost production, Niman will deplete the pork reserves that are typically held for peak season or shortages like this. It will also work with its farmers to see whether they can raise more hogs, but this solution takes more time.