• Whole Foods Market operates the country's largest retail chain of natural foods supermarkets and stands out among the supermarket giants as having done the most to put sustainable grocery shopping into mainstream consciousness.
• Union organizing at Whole Foods is met with opposition from the company, with reports of surveillance and termination of employees who solicit union participation.
• Whole Foods is still not fully transparent about the use of GMOs in store-brand products, and has ignored shareholder requests for information on the use of toxic chemicals in products like baby bottles that are sold in stores.
• Whole Foods carries only a limited variety of Fair Trade Certified(TM) products.
• Pressure Whole Foods to carry more Fair Trade products, increase transparency, and find and support local grocers and farmer's markets using Go Green.
-- Profile Updated 03/28/2011
About Whole Foods
Based in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market operates the country's largest retail chain of natural foods supermarkets. Founded in 1980, Whole Foods now operates over 180 stores nationwide and in Canada. The company reported revenues of $4.701 billion and employed about 38,000 people in 2005.
Fair Trade Your Supermarket
Have you ever been frustrated by searching the shelves of your local supermarket for Fair Trade chocolate or sugar, coffee or tea, rice or fresh fruit, only to find none available? Our new campaign gives you the tools you need to join with other Fair Trade advocates around the country, pushing more and more supermarkets to carry products that are certified to be good for people and the planet.
Please follow the link provided to help your Supermarket become Fair Trade.
Investor Environmental Health Network
The Investor Environmental Health Network heads a campaign to secure sustainable long-term returns on investments by making sure companies are actively reducing the risks associated with toxic chemicals in their products…
The Investor Environmental Health Network heads a campaign to secure sustainable long-term returns on investments by making sure companies are actively reducing the risks associated with toxic chemicals in their products. The campaign asks that companies keep investors fully informed of any toxics risks and calls on investors to engage in shareholder activism through resolutions where appropriate.
Co-op America's ADOPT-A-SUPERMARKET campaign is linking up Fair Trade advocates with stores in their local communities to keep pressure on supermarkets to carry and promote more Fair Trade products. Sign up to Adopt-A-Supermarket today. Tell us which store you are adopting and the location of the store.
Allegro Coffee Co. - Thornton, CO
- Whole Foods Market - Florida Regional Office - Plantation, FL
- Whole Foods Market - Mid-Atlantic Regional Office - Rockville, MD
Whole Foods Market - Mid-Atlantic Regional Office - Rockville, MD
- Whole Foods Market - Midwest Regional Office - Chicago, IL
- Whole Foods Market - Northeast Regional Office - Needham, MA
- Whole Foods Market - Northern Pacific Regional Office - Emeryville, CA
- Whole Foods Market - Southern Pacific Regional Office - Sherman Oaks, CA
- Whole Foods Market - Southwest Regional Office - Austin, TX
- Whole Foods Market, Inc. (Parent) - Austin, TX
- Whole Foods Market, Inc. - South Regional Office - Roswell, GA
Contact Whole Foods
Austin, TX 78703 USA
Whole Foods Market recently sent out an email to its customers on January 21st, 2011 to announce that it supports the USDA approving the “conditional deregulation” of Monsanto’s genetically engineered alfalfa. Whole Foods Market is calling for “public oversight by the USDA rather than reliance on the biotechnology industry,” emphasizing that coexistence with GE crops is a must. Major figures in the organic industry are outraged at Whole Foods for “giving in” to biotechnology and are nervous about potentially seeing GMO products on Whole Foods shelves.
-- The Huffington Post, 01/21/2011
According to the EPA, Whole Foods makes 100% of their own energy from solar and wind power.
-- Environment Protection Agency, 04/06/2010
Ethics and Governance
Whole Foods scored a 90 on the Human Rights Campaign 2008 Corporate Equality Index which rates large corporations on policies that affect their gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees, consumers and investors. The HRC Corporate Equality Index rates companies on a scale of 0 to 100 percent.
-- Human Rights Campaign, 09/17/2007
Following the annual Whole Foods Market shareholder meeting, the company was criticized for actions aimed at bypassing shareholder accountability. Instead of allowing shareowners to present their resolutions as indicated on the formal agenda, the company shuffled discussion about resolutions to an informal question and answer session. Subsequently, such discussion was delayed until after votes had been counted. Newground Social Investment president Bruce Herbert said, “It seems to flatly contradict the company’s pledge to ‘recognize everyone’s right to be listened to and heard regardless of their point of view.’”
-- SocialFunds.com, 03/10/2006
Whole Foods shareholders filed a 2006 resolution requesting that the company report on the use of endocrine disruptors, such as Bisphenol A (BPA), and other toxic chemicals in its products. Scientists at Japan's Nagoya University have linked exposure to the BPA to miscarriages and they suspect that BPA plays a key role in human reproductive and development disruption. Various studies have shown that BPA exposure is connected to premature puberty, attention deficit hyperactivity disorders, birth defects, and breast cancer. Although Whole Foods has stopped the sale of baby bottles and children’s cups made with BPA, the company continues to sell other unlabeled products containing this chemical.
-- SocialFunds.com, 02/09/2006
Source URL: www.socialfunds.com/news/article.cgi/1924.html
Health and Safety
Whole Foods agreed in September 2008 to work in partnership with the Florida-based farm worker organization, Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), to improve wages and working conditions for its Florida tomato pickers. According to the agreement signed, Whole Foods will support the organization’s “penny-per-pound” campaign that advocates for increasing tomato picker wages by just one penny, effectively doubling their wages.
-- Coalition of Immokalee Workers, 09/09/2008
In 2002, Whole Foods workers in Madison, Wisconsin launched a campaign to unionize Whole Foods stores. Union Officials were critical of Whole Foods’ reluctance to negotiate with unions, and in other areas of the country Whole Foods was accused of illegal activities including the following:
- Termination, surveillance, and investigation of pro-union employees
- Allowing anti-union literature to be circulated while at the same time blocking the distribution of pro-union literature
- Arbitrarily changing the schedules of pro-union employees to create hardships for working parents
- Illegal polling of the workers' stance on the union through a purported "contest," which awarded employees money for expressing anti-union views
Madison workers successfully unionized in 2002, but before unionization, workers at the Madison store perceived the management’s allotment of promotions and pay raises as subjective: workers with the same seniority frequently found they were earning different amounts.
-- Common Dreams Newswire, 04/04/2003
Source URL: none available
Health and Safety
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetic released a report in March 2009 that revealed 23 out of the 28 children’s bath products they tested contained formaldehyde, a chemical that increases skin sensitivity and irritates nasal and respiratory passages in addition to being considered a probable carcinogen by the EPA. 32 of 48 tested products contained 1,4-dioxane, which is also considered a probable human carcinogen by the EPA and a byproduct of the chemical processes used to make petroleum-based ingredients gentler to the skin. Nearly two-thirds of all tested products contained both of these harmful toxins. Brands tested in this study include Bath & Body Works (Limited Brands), Johnson & Johnson, CVS/Pharmacy, Unilever, L’Oreal, Wal-Mart, Kimberly-Clark, Target, Costco and Procter & Gamble. Organic Consumers Association has also recently released a report on brands that have sharply reduced levels of 1,4-dioxane since March 2008 that include 365 Everyday Value (Whole Foods), Earth Friendly Products, Ecco Bella, Giovanni, Jason, Johnson & Johnson, Kiss My Face, Life Tree, Method, Nature’s Gate, Planet Ultra, and Seventh Generation.
-- USA Today, 03/12/2009
Whole Foods issued a recall of its store brand Whole Catch Lemon Pepper Garlic Hot Smoked Trout after a test conducted by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services revealed traces of Listeria in the product. Listeria can lead to serious infection and in extreme cases death in young children, the elderly, or individuals with weak immune systems. Listeria may also cause stillbirths and miscarriages among pregnant women. Whole Foods stated that the product may have already reached consumers in California, Colorado, Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. The potentially contaminated product bears a UPC Code of 9948241183
-- Progressive Grocer, 01/17/2006
In California in January 2004, the Environmental Working Group and the Center for Environmental Health presented a notice of intent to file an anti-toxin lawsuit against two B.C. salmon farms, Marine Harvest and the Stolt Sea Farm group, along with and 48 additional U.S. and Canadian salmon farms, fish processors and grocery chains, including Whole Foods. The companies have been accused of failing to warn consumers the fish contain what the two environmental groups defined as potentially dangerous levels of cancer-causing chemicals known as PCBs. The two groups were petitioning salmon farmers to stop feeding practices that lead to high concentrations of PCBs -- chemicals known to cause cancer, reproductive harm and nervous-system damage.
-- Vancouver Sun, 01/23/2004
Source URL: none available
Two big American companies; Whole foods and Bed, Bath & Beyond, have decided to avoid suppliers using oil sand fuel. Oil sand has higher carbon content than crude oil. Read more about their decision in the article.
-- Financial Times, 02/10/2010