Great article in the SF Chronicle today on how Whole Foods is responding to criticisms raised in the Omnivore's Dilemma and the correspondence between the book's author, Michael Pollan, and Whole Foods' CEO, John Mackey. In addition to buying more from local farmers, the article cites several other initiatives underway at Whole Foods:
-- Give $10 million a year in low-interest loans to help small, local farmers and producers of grass-fed and humanely raised meat, poultry and dairy animals.
-- Raise its standards of humane care for the animals who supply meat, eggs and dairy to the stores. Whole Foods has hired an "animal compassionate field buyer" to work with producers to ensure that they meet the standards.
-- Set up Sunday farmers' markets in the parking lots of some Whole Foods stores, including about 10 in Northern California.
I have a lot of respect for John Mackey and I'm glad to see these changes coming about as Whole Foods is uniquely positioned to positively influence the growing market and demand for organic, locally-grown, and humane food. This is definitely a good thing.