Whole Foods Plans to Launch a Produce Rating System

What makes one apple better than another apple? Clear labeling at the grocery store makes it easy to differentiate organic produce from non-organic produce, but what about other factors that determine a crop's sustainability, like water conservation and soil health? Nowadays consumers want to shop smarter, and a major supermarket chain is delivering.

Starting this fall, Whole Foods plans to launch a ratings system that will rank produce and flowers "good", "better" or "best" to better inform customers about their purchasing decision. Sustainable agriculture experts and suppliers weighed in on the science-based index to develop the ratings system, which takes sustainable farming topics into consideration like pest management, farmworker welfare and biodiversity.

"We are driven by our core values and are always looking at ways to enrich our customers' experience, improve our communities and support our supplier partners," said Edmund LaMacchia, global vice president of perishables for Whole Foods Market. "The new produce ratings will provide deeper transparency to our shoppers, helping them make conscious choices while also celebrating the great work and responsible practices of growers beyond their organic and local efforts."

It's a win-win situation for Whole Foods customers and food producers alike, especially since it rewards growers who go above and beyond when it comes to responsible growing practices.

Check out the slideshow above to read more about the new ratings system at Whole Foods.