After thousands of emails from OCA members demanding that the company stop selling so many bogus "natural products" and embrace its stated mission to sell healthy organic foods, WFM's executives apparently realized last week that OCA will not shut up, and that they have a major problem on their hands. You can't just simply proclaim that you are a leader in selling organic foods, you must actually walk your talk. Last week, WFM announced it was launching a new "healthy eating" initiative with a greater emphasis on organics. In a highly publicized speech in the UK, John Mackey confessed the company's product selection had veered off course. The OCA will be monitoring WFM's practices closely to make sure that the giant retailers' actions match its rhetoric. Instead of 2/3 of its sales being so-called "natural" products, (with only 1/3 certified organic), OCA wants to see 2/3 of WFM's sales be organic by the end of 2010.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
The emperor of natural foods, Whole Foods Market (WFM), has no clothes. Throughout the 2009 summer months, OCA has been alerting organic consumers to the troubling fact that the overwhelming majority of grocery items (approximately 2/3) sold by WFM, even their private label "365" brand, are not certified organic, but rather so-called "natural" products that are typically just conventional products in disguise. After being defensive and unresponsive at first (basically saying "we sell more" organic food than any other retailer), and after putting pressure on OCA's advertisers to stop supporting us, WFM seems to finally be "seeing the light."