Whole Foods Plans to Launch a Produce Rating System

Whole Foods Plans to Launch a Produce Rating System
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Whole Foods Plans to Launch a Produce Rating System

Read on to learn more about the new produce ratings system Whole Foods will be launching this fall.

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The new ratings system at whole foods will rank produce and flowers from "good" to "best" based on a science-based index that considers sustainable farming factors and will be introduced on October 15 according to Food Business News.

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“Organic is not enough,” John Mackey, co-chief executive officer of Whole Foods Market stated during the GE Capital Corporate Finance Food & Beverage Summit held on October 1. “Consumers want total information, total transparency. Some people want it all.”

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The ratings system ranks food based on its performance in the following sustainable topics:

  • Pest management, including prohibited and restricted pesticides
  • Farmworker welfare
  • Pollinator protection
  • Water conservation and protection
  • Soil health
  • Ecosystems
  • Biodiversity
  • Waste, recycling and packaging
  • Energy
  • Climate

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It rewards suppliers for certification by leading social and environmental standards like Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, Protected Harvest and Demeter Biodynamic certification.

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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.

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