Whole Foods launches ‘own label’ ethical buying scheme May 1, 2007

US-BASED natural food retailer Whole Foods Market has launched a major new socially responsible buying programme to be called Whole Trade Guarantee.

The initiative, developed in partnership with third-party certifiers — TransFair USA and the Rainforest Alliance — brings together a set of strict criteria
for products from developing countries. These include everything from higher prices for producers, to good environmental practice; better wages and working conditions for workers, to direct donations to a poverty charity.

Commenting on the launch of the scheme, Whole Foods ceo, John Mackey, said: “With our shoppers' growing concern about ethical and responsible trade and with our company’s increasing scale and scope, the time is right for Whole Foods Market to help make more of an impact.”

“We have a long track record concerning ethical business practices, equitable pay for Team Members and suppliers, safe working environments, and love and respect for all people and the Earth. We are extending that concern to the global community by bringing products from developing areas to the marketplace in a
way that is a win for the producers and their families, for our shoppers, for the environment, and for the developing world communities where we do business.”

The scheme launched in North America on March 29. At the time Natural Products went to press we had not been able to establish if it will be extended to Whole Foods’ UK stores.

Source : http://www.naturalproductsonline.co.uk