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July 08, 2009


James Simpkins

Hey Julie!

Thanks for your input here, and I appreciate Whole Foods Market allowing you to respond to my article!

Like my article says, there is good news and bad news about Whole Foods Market...and I tried to present a fair and balanced look in the context of our website. Your use of the word "inaccuracies" and "misinformation" seems to have me intentionally misinforming people. While I give you every right to your own opinion, my perspective isn't based on ignorance, it comes from almost a year and a half of being a Team Leader and seeing this unfiltered and first hand. In no way does my article constitute an attempt to mislead people about the goings-on of Whole Foods, Inc.

It is in that spirit I invite you to have WFM make public information that will show that this 80% of the waste is composted, reused or recycled (and I gently point out that "waste" should NOT be reused!). I can assure you that during my time at the stores in Charles Plaza (in Boston, MA), West Hartford Center and Bishops Corner this was FAR from the case.

And you are SO right about the farmers' market at West Hartford Center! I should have included that as some of the good news, especially as I'm writing about its sister market in Collinsville for this week.

Thanks again, Julie, for your feedback!

Julie Whole Foods Team Member

I’m a Whole Foods Market Team Member – my job consists of working extensively with the local programs in the region and in CT, so I feel the need to chime in here. This article contains a lot of inaccuracies and misinformation. Yes, WFM (like all businesses) want to be profitable, but not at the expense of our core values.

Our stores compost, recycle or reuse at least 80 percent of waste in our stores, including food waste. Every single Whole Foods Market works with local food banks, soup kitchens, shelters, etc. to donate food. Depending on the store and organizations involved, pickups and drop offs take place anywhere from once or twice a week to daily.

We offer local products in our stores whenever it’s possible-- there is no set “limit” on the number of local products we carry. The climate in the Northeast limits local year-round availability, so during certain seasons we have to source produce from farther away to meet the demands of our shoppers. We work with over 200 local growers across New England including more than 30 in Connecticut. We also carry over 70 local Connecticut products throughout other departments and we expect these numbers to grow.

We also host farmers’ markets in the parking lot of our stores to provide another opportunity for local growers and producers to sell their goods and we have a forager in each store who is dedicated to building relationships and partnerships with local producers.

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