Whole Foods Market’s
Commitment to Organics

Original Whole Foods Market Store

Organic Food

  • Whole Foods Market sells a wider variety of organic produce and devotes more space to organic food than any other supermarket in the world.
  • Organic food is grown with USDA-regulated farming standards that protect land and water supplies, prohibit the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and prohibit the use of genetically modified organisms and irradiation.
  • Whole Foods Market supports local family farms through its commitment to buying from local producers who meet Whole Foods Market high quality standards, farm organically and are dedicated to environmentally friendly agriculture.
  • Whole Foods Market helped develop the U.S. standards that make it easier for Americans to trust the meaning of the organic label. The standards require detailed record keeping in addition to third-party certification of the land and methods used to grow organic food.  
  • Whole Foods Market’s Global Vice President of Quality Standards and Public Affairs, Margaret Wittenberg, played an integral role in shaping the National Organic Standards while serving a five-year term as the sole retail representative on the National Organic Standards Board.
  • Whole Foods Market continues to work closely with the USDA and the organic community to ensure that the organic standards remain strong and consistent with shoppers’ expectations. The Quality Standards Coordinator, Joe Dickson, holds the retailer seat from 2010 to 2015 on the National Organic Standards Board, a 15-member advisory board that guides the USDA’s National Organic Program. 
  • Whole Foods Market works closely with farmers and suppliers to help them provide more natural and organic products.

Certified Organic

  • All food sold as “organic” in the U.S. must be certified by a USDA-accredited certifying agency. Whether a food product says “certified organic” or just “organic,” U.S. law requires it to be certified. All certifying agencies must act consistently, competently and impartially in the certification process. This ensures consumers that production and handling practices always meet national organic standards.
  • While retailers who sell organic products are one of the few businesses exempt from the requirement for certification, Whole Foods Market became the first national certified organic grocer when it became certified in 2003. 
  • Whole Foods Market was initially certified by Quality Assurance International (QAI), an independent, USDA-accredited, third-party certifier, and each one of Whole Foods Market’s stores is currently certified by California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF). Under this program, the certifier verifies that Whole Foods Market handles organic goods according to stringent USDA guidelines. The audit process confirms that Whole Foods Market:
    • Examines the current organic certification status of Whole Foods Market’s organic products
    • Maintains an extensive record-keeping process that demonstrates a fully traceable audit trail for Whole Foods Market’s organic products
    • Ensures that organic products are appropriately protected from commingling with conventional products and contamination with prohibited materials
    • Trains store Team Members in the handling practices of organic product
    • Opens Whole Foods Market stores to on-site inspections by third-party inspectors

Affordability of Organics

  • Prices for organic foods reflect many of the same costs as conventional items in terms of growing, harvesting, transportation and storage. Organically produced foods must meet stricter regulations governing all of these steps, so the process is often more labor- and time-intensive, and organic farming tends to be on a smaller scale. 
  • Organic food, though growing, still represents a tiny sliver of the overall food market. Many of the economies of scale which benefit non-organic growers have not yet been realized for organic growers. Also, the majority of agricultural extension and support programs are designed to support non-organic growers.
  • Whole Foods Market is the leader in the organic and natural food industry. As demand for and volume of organic products have increased overtime, prices have become more competitive. Whole Foods Market remains committed to offering affordable prices for organic and natural food. 
  • Whole Foods Market offers store brand products with the 365 Everyday Value™ organic offerings to provide shoppers with organic products at affordable prices.
  • Simply put, organic foods may cost more to produce due to the additional costs associated with certification and the relatively small size of the organic market.

PBS KIDS Commitment to Childhood Education, Health and Wellness

PBS KIDS, presented locally by over 340 local member stations, is the leading provider of curriculum-based media in the United States. PBS KIDS is committed to making a positive impact on the lives of children through new and traditional platforms to support children in their acquisition of knowledge and critical thinking skills, while empowering their imagination and curiosity of the world. 

  • Each year, PBS KIDS reaches more than 80% of all children ages 2-8 with inspiring, educational television programming, available free of charge to every child in America.
  • PBS KIDS is the leading provider of streamed video, providing more than 100 million streams monthly, free of charge.
  • PBS KIDS is committed to helping children explore and learn about health, nutrition and wellness through age-appropriate content.  Television programs like SESAME STREET, SID THE SCIENCE KID, ARTHUR and THE CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT! feature special episodes and curriculum designed specifically to introduce a variety of health and wellness concepts to children ages 2-8.
  • PBS KIDS extends learning about health and nutrition to children, wherever they may be, through mobile applications, web only content such as FIZZY’S LUNCH LAB, and digital games and apps featuring some of America’s most well-loved children’s characters.
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