What will Perdue's acquisition of Niman mean for Chipotle's carnitas shortage?

Perdue is getting serious about sustainable meat.

The 95-year-old chicken business announced earlier this summer that it had successfully removed antibiotics from its supply, an industry-shaking feat that took nearly a decade to complete

Image Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - Image Source

Image Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - Image Source

That's big news in the chicken industry, but earlier this week, the company announced that it had acquired Niman Ranch, easily the largest producer of all-natural beef, lamb and pork in the country.

With a network of 700 ranchers, Niman has figured out how to scale the production of better quality meat, but it still struggles to keep up with demand from customers, including Chipotle, which has had to stop serving carnitas at nearly a third of its restaurants because of a shortage of pork that meets its crate- and antibiotic-free standards.

What do you think this deal with Perdue means for Niman? Will it boost the overall quality of meat that Perdue sells or will the size of Perdue mean that Niman will have to compromise some of its standards to go big?