Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

 

101 Comments

Comments

Kelly Rivard says ...
I try to support American growers when I can. The carbon footprint of these flowers is so much lower because they are grown closer to us. I know flower growers both in California and Illinois and imported flowers not only take tons of fuel to get here, but they also hurt more local growers like the ones I know.
02/05/2013 9:56:41 PM CST
Rita Jo Shoutlz says ...
Was disappointed to see a company I've admired supporting 'foreign' flowers over American Grown. Surely, someone in your company has made a mistake with these statements. I won't waste my time or yours with all the reasons why you should be supporting America as I think you surely know all the many, many reasons.
02/05/2013 10:01:47 PM CST
Shari says ...
Whole Foods should support local farmers! Local flowers will be the freshest too, as they have not been shipped thousands of miles and stressed during transport. Support your local farmers-buy local!
02/05/2013 10:20:41 PM CST
Doug Trott says ...
I understand many Whole Foods stores support local flowers, but if any are having trouble finding a local flower farm, they should visit the web site of the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers (http://www.ascfg.org). You can search for growers by location, or even by the varieties of flowers grown, and you will be amazed at the tremendous variety of fresh, local flowers available.
02/05/2013 10:28:21 PM CST
Marcie Wolf says ...
There are many hidden costs associated with outsourcing jobs...including jobs such as flower farming. Without much more specific information regarding environmental issues I feel uncomfortable. The statement "Cares for the environment" is rather meaningless. There are crops that we do not produce in the United States, and I appreciate the fair trade laws when trading with countries that we purchase those crops from. But in some cases...local is better. Help your local community and buy from them first.
02/05/2013 10:46:27 PM CST
Heidi Joynt says ...
I appreciate this conversation happening, and the fact that Whole Foods is considering better labor practices than conventionally grown flowers, though they do carry those as well. I appreciate that most of these flowers are labeled as such so we can make the choices we want to as consumers. I think purchasing Fair Trade from Ecuador/Columbia is a far cry from a socially and environmentally responsible purchase, however. I know that Whole Foods does work with some local flower farms, even here in IL...but please, highlight THOSE farms. Show your customers that you care about the social fabric of the rural communities right HERE. Most of those farms are on average 1,500 miles away or more from most of the U.S. That is a lot of jet fuel...not a very romantic thought on Valentine's Day.
02/06/2013 12:21:23 AM CST
Dolores says ...
Whole Foods is a proponent of Whole Trade Roses grown in South America? Interesting, is Whole Foods also a proponent of the Oil Industry? Shipping for these roses requires additional quantities of fossil fuel, refrigeration to keep the flowers fresh for a longer period also uses additional energy. Plus shipping the flowers from a central warehouse once they arrive in the USA to the Whole Foods Markets in the United States adds another link in this process. I believe it would better serve everyone if Whole Foods purchased their flowers locally thereby supporting the florist that make up a percentage of local Whole Foods customer bases, and providing scholarships to the children of the growers in South American. Instead of growing roses, perhaps Whole Foods could train the flower growers to grow food sustainably that can be sold in their local markets on a continuing bases and not roses that are just for a Valentines Day celebration in the United States.
02/06/2013 12:41:44 AM CST
Buy Local!! says ...
As a former WFM floral buyer, I know how local the company actually is. The Whole Trade thing is out of fashion and a distraction from what's really important, and as you can see from the other comments, not whole at all when you consider the loss of U.S. flower farms as a result of nonsensical continued importing such as this. Please reevaluate your purchasing budgets and help your regional and store buyers support local farmers and highlight actual "whole community" local flowers instead of putting a brand name on nature and telling them what to sell from an office.
02/06/2013 2:26:57 AM CST
Jeanie McKewan says ...
Why aren't you promoting USA grown flowers? WFM is a real dichotomy between local/organic and Our Brand (Whole Trade) whether or not it is local, sustainably grown, organic, domestic. Best price right?. Why not be sincere to your mission to promote the best local products grown and produced? California and Oregon have gorgeous flowers for Valentines Day, I am certain they are not within your price point but they are a heck of a lot more local and less of a footprint than those lovelies from Columbia. Regards, A WFM Cut Flower Vendor
02/06/2013 5:51:24 AM CST
marcia cox says ...
How much will roses cost before and during Valentine's Day?
02/06/2013 8:55:02 AM CST
melody pearson says ...
Boohoo! Buy American promote our farmers and support our economy!
02/06/2013 9:53:43 AM CST
Jeremy Jordan says ...
My experience is that locally grown flowers not only last longer, but look better due to their freshness, as compared with imports. Please support the hard working American Flower Growers and boost our economy. Jeremy
02/06/2013 10:04:06 AM CST
cleis jordan says ...
We have supported Whole Foods and its idea of fresh, locally grown and organic starting with your first store in Austin, TX. Now living in New Mexico in a tiny village of 50 we are big supporters of the idea of healthy living thru our Farmer's Markets. Because Whole Foods is 180 miles from us and accessible only when we get to Albuquerque, we rely on Farmer's Markets in the area with their locally grown fresh vegetables and flowers. We are also helping our neighbors in the community this way. Having always viewed Whole Foods as an extension of this idea it was surprising and disappointing to see your article on Roses for Valentine's day. I realize we live in a world economy but when there are so many needs right here at home, would have expected Whole Foods to be supporting those in their own backyard first. Local flower growers also have needs for their families such as better schools and day care, better hospitals, low interest home improvement loans, transportation for their children, and much needed water and electricity to grow their flowers and vegetables. Let's help those here at home in the U.S.A. first with the 1% you are generously giving to the growers beyond our borders and support our local growers.
02/06/2013 10:15:30 AM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
Sorry for the confusion, everyone! We have updated the blog post to reflect the fact that we do feature local and US flowers at our locations as well. The WTG flowers are an additional option for customers but buy no means is the only option. Check with your local store to see what other flowers options they have in stock!
02/06/2013 10:41:11 AM CST
Thea Folls says ...
I think a better alternative to buying imported flowers is to buy from local growers if you have any, and if not, how about a gift certificate for locally grown cut flowers or locally owned garden centers? As a cut flower farmer I appreciate each and every one of my customers and their choice to buy locally.
02/06/2013 11:57:08 AM CST
Sally Scorzetti says ...
I am a regular customer of the Whole Foods in Devon, Pa. While I understand your mission I cannot support it. We have so many farmers in the US that work so hard and need us as customers to survive why would you turn your backs and import flowers. Please stick with your principals.
02/06/2013 12:27:32 PM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@MARCIA - Most stores will have special floral prices during Valentine's day but the prices can vary between locations. Check with your local store for quotes!
02/06/2013 12:29:23 PM CST
George Hart says ...
It appears that every purchase of Whole Trade flowers means American dollars are going overseas, where they benefit foreign workers, to the disadvantage of American farmers. Do you market any "local" produce?
02/06/2013 1:56:39 PM CST
Mary Jane says ...
I appreciate that you have updated your post, but it still pushes for the purchase of "Whole Trade" flowers. While it's fine, in my opinion, to have this option for those who would like to support the initiative, I as an American consumer would much rather see you advocating for buying flowers grown in the USA on Valentine's Day (or any day of the year, for that matter!). We need to take advantage of every opportunity to support our American farmers and ranchers, whether they grow flowers, fruits and vegetables, cotton, or raise cattle. I hope you will actively promote buying flowers grown in the USA in your stores. Our American farmers and ranchers need our support.
02/06/2013 2:33:44 PM CST
Mark says ...
It would seem to me that Whole Foods, in their infinite wisdom is completely off base on this promotion. I thought that Whole Foods stood for supporting local producers utilizing sustainable agricultural practices! Purchasing and transporting flowers from distant markets solely to support these farms and their farming families seems to be leaving the core beliefs of Whole Foods forgotten. It certainly does not gaurentee that sustainable agricultural practices are being met and it certainly leaves a giant carbon footprint behind! Perhaps, if it is so important for Whole Foods to support these farmers and their families, then maybe Whole Foods can kill two birds with one stone. Support local, sustainable farmers producing flowers, and then use the profits from these flower sales to support whatever cause Whole Foods so desires!
02/06/2013 3:24:28 PM CST
Robin Powell says ...
South American and Canada have destroyed the domestic flower business. Stop promoting south american flowers and start buying from your neighboring farmers.
02/06/2013 6:14:59 PM CST
Dennis Westphall says ...
At least 80% of all cut flowers sold in this country are imported. I hear you say that you offer local alternatives and it makes me wonder how you measure up with your domestic and import purchases. Can you tell us what your percentages are?
02/07/2013 8:39:30 AM CST
Linda VanApeldoorn says ...
Shame on you Whole Foods. I do not understand your promotion of imported flowers. Whole Trade guarantee or not. This goes against just about everything listed in your "mission and values" statements regarding environmental stewardship. I see no reason for you to be importing anything that is readily available in the US. By the number of other posts that share similar views, I believe it is time you changed your blog to say "Share your love with US grown flowers" and promote the fabulous, hard working flower growers right in your own backyard.
02/07/2013 6:40:33 PM CST
Jordan Zecker says ...
I saw an add today for 2dozen long stem roses for $19.99 is that available all week
02/08/2013 12:02:19 AM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
We asked our Global Floral Buyer, Amanda Rainey, about other flower options and here's what she said: "For those of you looking for domestically grown flowers, we partner with an amazing group of farms and suppliers all over the country, many of whom are local to the communities where Whole Foods Market stores are located. Our tulips, for example, are grown in places such as Sumner, Washington; Arcata, California; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Stevensburg, Virginia; and McAdoo, Pennsylvania, just to name a few. Your store may have seasonally mixed bouquets with stems straight from Carpinteria, California, arrays of blooming branches from Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin, and beautiful Dutch Irises grown in Castle Hayne, North Carolina. No matter where they come from we work hard to source flowers perfectly suited to any occasion, supporting local producers when we can. While roses are the go-to favorite at this time of year – Americans bought more than $189 million stems last year! – domestic rose production is very limited and they’re frequently shipped from overseas. This is one of the reasons we’re very proud to offer another rose choice to our shoppers: the ethically sourced Whole Trade roses from Colombia and Ecuador. Whether you choose roses or another flower for Valentine’s Day, our floral departments are filled with buckets and buckets of all kinds of gorgeous blooms to pick from."
01/28/2013 10:05:00 AM CST

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