Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

 

101 Comments

Comments

Bethany says ...
I can not believe what I am reading!!! I am person who owns a local cut flower business ( The Flower Peddler, Bridgeton, NJ), a small business owner and appreciate everything that my community gives back to me. That is why I can't believe that you would support importing flowers from other countries when you have such gifted & talented cut flower growers right in your own communities. Listen up , America, the Mom & Pops need you. This is what our country was based on and to see our business owners overlooked is disheartening. It is such an economically & environmentally sound practice to support your local cut flower growers. The quality, prices, & integrity can't be beat! I am probably never going to purchase from this chain ever again, or at least until your buying practices have improved. Look around: our citizens will be here to serve you, but other countries just want our money and would never come to our aid if we were in need.
02/05/2013 5:04:47 PM CST
Carol W Larsen says ...
Although I know that it is hard to find a surfeit of local flowers in northern states for the Valentine holiday, I also know that domestic cut flower production is happening and needs support. I am disappointed that Whole Foods does not see that important support as part of it's primary mission. I also agree completely with the comments regarding transportation, chemical misuse off shore, packaging, and the excellent suggestion of gift certificates.
02/05/2013 5:12:43 PM CST
Jennifer says ...
I'm so glad to read that others felt the same dismay that I did as I read this blog post. It is disappointing that Whole Foods would have an ad campaign pushing flowers grown outside the US. I would like to see Whole Foods supporting American growers, and particularly those that are local to each store. As part of that, it is important for Whole Foods to help educate it's customers that local, responsibly grown flowers take care of our personal, economic, and environmental health. Please, Whole Foods - help your customers support American growers!
02/05/2013 5:14:42 PM CST
Trin says ...
Well, you certainly don't want to 'share the love' locally that is for sure... Very disappointing post from Whole Foods as it shows no interest in locally grown products and local communities. How about looking around the United States and seeing all of the areas and people who need help? How about programs or assistance for the workers (and their children) who are in the agricultural sector in the US (including the ever-dwindling cut flower growing sector)? How about new programs that could help keep young people in school instead of the hideously high drop out rates in US high schools that we currently see? In your quest to be so super socially conscious you have actually become blind to the needs of those people who live the closest to you.
02/05/2013 5:20:06 PM CST
Leon Carrier says ...
US flowers would be ideal.Tired of imports......
02/05/2013 5:29:54 PM CST
Evelyn says ...
I agree with all of the pro-USA, pro-locally grown comments already stated. This past year I started up a flower farm and learned what hard work, long hours, and 7-days-of-the-week commitment it took, along with a significant financial input. Indeed, point very well raised by a prior responder, I struggle mightily to be fair trade, but I am by virtue of the fact that I follow labor and taxation laws. . It nearly killed me to see some vendors at farmers markets I attended selling less expensive flowers, clearly out of season, and clearly shipped in from beyond our borders, in competition with my locally grown blooms. It gave me great satisfaction to see educated consumers select my locally grown blossoms over the alternative (and to hear time and time again from repeat customers that they last longer). Whole Foods, you clearly have a responsibility to your financial bottom line and financiers, but when you take on an important task of education and you become a proponent for the triple bottom line, it seems you could absolutely do better by promoting locally grown, USA-grown flowers. The social and environmental benefits of purchasing domestic are well worth tauting. Please redirect your educational campaign for the benefit of our country's economy, environment, and social well-being. Perhaps, as an add-on to your existing sales and marketing campaign, you could ask consumers if they would like for the donated proceeds go to local flower growers or to the research foundation of the Association of Specialty Flower Growers, located in the heart of the United States of America. I thank you in advance for listening.
02/05/2013 6:03:36 PM CST
Sue Kent says ...
The U.S. cut-flower market is dominated by South American imports. If anyone needs more support, it's the American flower farmers. Your web site should change its wording to: "Choose U.S. grown flowers to show your loved one that you care about them and flower farmers in the U.S. 'Grown in the U.S.' means these flowers meet specific criteria including: Meets our product Quality Standards, Provides more money to producers, Ensures better wages for workers, Cares for the environment"
02/05/2013 6:32:53 PM CST
Marlene Epley says ...
There is not a Whole Foods Market located anywhere near where I live and I have always envied people who had convenient access to Whole Foods because of its reputation for supporting locally grown and U.S.A. grown/produced. This information about sourcing flowers from other countries has cured my envy and convinced me that I am not missing out on anything by not having a Whole Foods Market at which to shop. First it will be flowers and then other products grown in other countries will creep into the mix. Fair Trades sourcing is a wonderful option for many things but not flowers and produce that are available in the U.S.A. It is not an environmentally friendly choice for flowers because of the shipping and packaging requirements and it is not supportive of the farming community in our country.
02/05/2013 6:39:29 PM CST
David E. Perry says ...
Strange juxtaposition, really, that just a few days after the Super Bowl, where Chrysler's Paul Harvey/American Farmer ad (http://bit.ly/VHpIKu), was considered almost unanimously to be one of the top three most powerful ads of the entire showing, we are reading here about what a feel-good thing it is to buy imported flowers. I've been photographing the grit and grace of the American Farmer for nearly three decades, and over the past six years I've spent untold hours documenting the worlds and lives of American flower farmers and floral designers for a book, The 50 Mile Bouquet, (St. Lynn's Press, 2012), that is all about sourcing and celebrating local, seasonal and sustainably grown flowers. In one of the stories for the book, author Debra Prinzing and I enlisted the help of a Seattle floral designer, Melissa Feveyear to create an elaborate, locally sourced Sunday Brunch bouquet, in January, just to see what was really possible. We were delighted and amazed at what was available and what was possible. A few weeks later I spent another day with Melissa at the market and then in her design studio as she prepared locally sourced bouquets for her Valentines clients. Again, stunning. Up to this point I had thought of Whole Foods as a real, working proponent of the 'buy local' sensibility. This forces me to rethink what I had thought I knew. Perhaps not everything is better when sourced locally, but in the case of flowers, ephemeral and short-lived as they are, buying sustainably grown bouquets that adhere to American health, wage and labor standards and in support of American farmers, well I can scarcely believe it is even a question in this day and age. I for one will continue to buy local, and I will continue to give my business to those who source locally whenever possible.
02/05/2013 6:54:43 PM CST
Judy Laushman, Executive Director, ASCFG says ...
Whole Foods customers – and most American consumers – are likely unaware that as they have the ability to choose locally-produced food, they may also buy locally-grown cut flowers. The Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers has united and informed cut flower growers for 25 years. Its 500+ members strive to produce the highest quality flowers, often organically, always as sustainably as possible. To find flower growers near you, see www.ascfg.org
02/05/2013 6:59:38 PM CST
Anissa Starnes says ...
Wow, this is hardly what I expected from Whole Foods. I am disappointed in the decision to import flowers when we have so many USA flower farms. While I somewhat appreciate the effort to hide this under "cause marketing" let's call it what it is, turning our backs on buying LOCAL from the good ol' USA. Come on Whole Foods...you can do better. You must do better.
02/05/2013 7:01:46 PM CST
BG warden says ...
I'm also surprised Whole Foods of all places would be advocating imported flowers rather than locally grown ones -- not sustainable and not at all in keeping with your mission, not to mention the unregulated pesticide issues!
02/05/2013 7:04:26 PM CST
James Cameron says ...
In regards to your decision to favor imported flowers versus locally grown. Why wouldn't you want to do business with people who do business with you?
02/05/2013 7:07:15 PM CST
Nancy Cameron says ...
America The Beautiful! Our country has beautiful flowers! Please slow down Whole Foods carbon footprint and stop flying in roses and flowers.
02/05/2013 7:08:41 PM CST
Suzanne DeSaix says ...
What about local, sustainable sources of flowers? What about our local communities? This does not take away from the caring for others, as we are also global citizens--but we need to support our local farmers and keep the agricultural/horticultural community strong by supporting the diverse, small farmers and growers. Thank you for the opportunity to comment.
02/05/2013 7:11:04 PM CST
maura says ...
I agree with Dave. Whole Foods should stick to local.
02/05/2013 7:21:44 PM CST
Beverly B. Burrows says ...
I am so very proud to read all the thought provoking comments that are shouting LOCAL...LOCAL...LOCAL!!! I hope you are listening Whole Foods...there are sooo many people passionate about supporting local flower growers. Without the support of folks that have mission statements such as yours...that should rightfully be supporting the farmers with local product...what message does that send? Lets start with "LOCAL FREE TRADE"!!!!!!!
02/05/2013 7:21:46 PM CST
Michelle says ...
I'd love to see more local flowers in my neighborhood store too! Now that I think about it, I don't think I've EVER seen local flowers there!
02/05/2013 7:22:51 PM CST
Stormy Johnson says ...
I love the Whole Foods and clean-eating concepts but try to eat local as much as possible (what my husband and I cannot grow ourselves on our own place anyway.) One of these things we do not grow is cut flowers! But if we do not grow it we would rather buy from regional or at least American growers. Where can we find flowers grown right here by Americans?
02/05/2013 7:46:24 PM CST
Karen Yasui says ...
It would be nice if you would promote flowers grown in the U.S. instead. Domestic flower farmers need support also and can supply a more sustainable product.
02/05/2013 8:00:55 PM CST
Kathy F. says ...
My impression of Whole Foods has always been that you carry local, organic products. The best of the best. So I was surprised that you are promoting imported flowers for Valentine's Day. Why not promote local, fresh flowers that stand out from the crowd? That would be more in keeping with your values and mission.
02/05/2013 8:01:15 PM CST
Roena Moore says ...
We have always believed Whole Foods Markets to be a place where we could purchase safe food when we are not able to raise it ourselves. We understood the values of your organization matched our desire to have organic, sustainably grown food. Our living is made growing pesticide free, speciality cut flowers on our farm, and we sell them locally. Since you are encouraging customers to purchase pesticide laden, shipped in flowers from outside the U.S., I can no longer trust that your food products are clean and safe as presented. Whole Foods states on this webpage that you are "passionate about healthy food and a healthy planet". What you are advocating regarding flower purchases certainly does not match up with this mission statement. We will no longer seek out Whole Foods Markets for our needs.
02/05/2013 8:06:47 PM CST
Patty Hendrick says ...
We wholeheartedly agree with previous comments on the importance of supporting local growers of not just flowers, but vegetables and fruits too. How does it possibly make sense to not support LOCAL growers of quality products, when we cannot possibly control how products are grown in other countries and what type of poisons are put on them? Come on Whole Foods....support the AMERICAN WAY.....support us....we are hard-working farmers producing the freshest products right here in your own backyard...... our flowers are second to none!
02/05/2013 8:35:28 PM CST
Katie says ...
I support American grown flowers first. California flowers to me are the highest quality I have ever found. While I live in the Midwest I can consider a local flowers to be American first. Then I would support Canadian flowers. I am not against bringing in imported flowers and making a difference in South America. But by bringing in all those imports over decades it has killed the market and industry for flower farmers in America. Why would Whole Foods want to put American farmers out of business? These are FAMILY LOCAL farmers on our own home soil. Whole Foods, please stick to your brand and live up to what you say. Give us some American flower options not just on Valentine's Day but every day! Thank you.
02/05/2013 9:40:58 PM CST
Katie says ...
I support American grown flowers first. California flowers to me are the highest quality I have ever found. While I live in the Midwest I can consider a local flowers to be American first. Then I would support Canadian flowers. I am not against bringing in imported flowers and making a difference in South America. But by bringing in all those imports over decades it has killed the market and industry for flower farmers in America. Why would Whole Foods want to put American farmers out of business? These are FAMILY LOCAL farmers on our own home soil. Whole Foods, please stick to your brand and live up to what you say. Give us some American flower options not just on Valentine's Day but every day! Thank you.
02/05/2013 9:41:02 PM CST

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