Whole Foods to introduce produce ratings program Oct. 15

by Keith Nunes
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The retailer plans to introduce a produce ratings program with "good," "better" and "best" labels displayed throughout the produce department.

 

NAPA, CALIF. — Whole Foods Market, Inc. is going to introduce a produce ratings program on Oct. 15, said John Mackey, co-chief executive officer of the Austin, Texas-based retailer.

“Organic is not enough,” he said Oct. 1 during the GE Capital Corporate Finance Food & Beverage Summit. “Consumers want total information, total transparency. Some people want it all.”

Whole Foods first announced the program in September 2013. The initiative is based on a three-tier ratings system of “good,” “better,” and “best” labels that will be displayed throughout the retailer’s produce department. The labeling system is based on an index to measure the performance of products relevant to such sustainable topics as pest management, farmworker welfare, pollinator protection, water conservation and protection, soil health, ecosystems, biodiversity, waste, recycling and packaging, energy and climate.

The new program was announced last September as part of efforts to provide more transparency for consumers.

 

The program will recognize organic growers for the investment and achievement represented by organic certification while highlighting additional responsible practices, including farmworker welfare and resource conservation, according to Whole Foods. The ratings also will reward suppliers for certification by a number of leading social and environmental standards including:  Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, Protected Harvest, and Demeter Biodynamic certification.

“People have a hunger for more transparency,” Mr. Mackey said Oct. 1. “We have the technology to make that transparency come alive. Every product we sell has a story attached to it. People want it and we try to give it to them.”
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READER COMMENTS (4)

By myra dotson 10/4/2014 2:12:06 PM
For more information about TOXIC SEWAGE SLUDGE... go to facebook and look for Sewage Sludge Action Network... and read my "attempted" post

By Mario Ciasulli 10/4/2014 6:04:23 AM
Will the use of biosolids be prohibited?

By John W. Allen 10/3/2014 4:52:30 PM
This is real progress to be commended. Would it be possible to rate on a scale of 1-5, for instance, the degree of ripeness/taste for those items which cannot be determined by shoppers viewing displays?

By Fred 10/3/2014 3:49:59 PM
A good start would be a robust internal system to guarantee that Organic was actually Organic or residue free.