Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

$2.5 Million and Counting!

By Jenny Brown, May 21, 2009  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Jenny Brown

I am so proud to announce that Whole Foods Market has recently hit a total of $2.5 million in loans through our Local Producer Loan Program! That’s over a million dollars a year for the past two years in financing to help local farmers and food artisans expand their businesses. That’s a lot of change! When we launched the program in 2007, the state of the economy was very different. Yet despite the nationwide tightening of credit from banks and credit cards, Whole Foods Market has continued to make low-interest loans to help producers grow their businesses. The numbers speak for themselves: Number of loan recipients: 41 Number of states with loan recipients: 18 Average loan: $52,292 We’ve also been able to work with a wide variety of producers. Products include kombucha, potting soil, ice cream (regular & non-dairy), organic produce, wine sorbet, raw chocolate, grassfed beef, and raw, vegan, gluten-free granola. Here’s a breakdown: Agricultural products: 17 Artisan/processed food: 23 Body care products: 1 We’re also pleased to have worked with many women business owners! Eight of the businesses that have received loans are owned by women, with an additional nine co-owned by women. One of the more interesting aspects of Whole Foods Market’s Local Producer Loan Program is the ability to apply for additional financing at a later date. If a loan recipient continues to grow after receipt of a loan, they can apply for a second loan to help them with their business activities. Five of our producers have taken advantage of this aspect of the program, with great results. Two have even received third loans! We are excited to have hit this milestone, and we want to hit even more – we plan to provide up to $10 million in loans through the program. Think you or someone you know might help us hit $3 million? Check out our website to learn more about the program and to find out how to apply.

Category: Local

 

5 Comments

Comments

Sarah says ...
Another great reason to shop Whole Foods! You are doing great things for producers and consumers alike. The way I see it, the more loans you m ake, the more fresh, interesting products you will have available for all of us. Keep up the good work.
05/22/2009 9:28:28 AM CDT
Mary B says ...
I knew there were more reasons to shop Whole Foods than just the excellent quality of the products...you do amazing things for so many people. Whole Foods is the only market I shop for food. Keep up the great work you do!
05/27/2009 6:15:36 PM CDT
Valerie Stromberg says ...
provide an opportunity for customers to contribute to the funding of these loans. perhaps, at check-out a customer could purchase a donation "share", in the pool. Provide e-mail updates to "share-holders" to learn where their donation is being invested. Give "shareholders" first option to purchase goods and /or stock if any of the loan recipients go public...or donate the shares to a self-perpetuating loan and/or grant fund.
05/27/2009 8:30:34 PM CDT
Ismael says ...
I still cannot believe the opposition to whole food, opening a branch in Eugene, Oregon area where I live. The need for natural food is great but there is a oligopoly controlling the market here with structures such as Safeway, and others... This create an inefficiency in the market and put the burden(price wise) on the consumers that we are. Something has to be done about this. Oregon is a big player in the natural food industry and our farmers do need more help from this Loan program in order for us to sustain our Lifestyle and eating habits.
05/31/2009 3:46:15 PM CDT
Pierre Ladouceur says ...
It may sound redundant.... but you truly are a great business with a great responsible attitude. You walk the talk!!!
03/24/2010 1:54:40 PM CDT