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The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Celebrate Whole Trade February

AttilioPerez It's Whole Trade Month, which means time to celebrate the Whole Trade Guarantee and the hard-working folks who produce these outstanding products. By no coincidence, Whole Trade Month falls around Valentine's Day, when we often think about chocolate and roses, two of our staple Whole Trade products. But the Whole Trade Guarantee encompasses so much more. From bananas to coffee to body care, we sources thousands of items from producers who share our commitment to quality, the environment and healthy working conditions. But, before we go much further, maybe we should take a step back and reintroduce the Whole Trade program for those who are unfamiliar. We believe that small choices you make every day really make a difference in the world. The Whole Trade Guarantee allows our customers to use their buying power to create new economic opportunities for workers in the developing world. The program includes products that are grown organically or respect the Earth without formal organic certification. Strictly speaking, our Whole Trade Guarantee promises that every product meets the following criteria:
  • Meets our high quality standards
  • Provides more money to producers
  • Ensures better wages and working conditions for workers
  • Cares for the environment
segundo We believe we have a responsibility toward all entities involved in our business: our customers, shareholders, Team Members, suppliers and the environment. The Whole Trade program allows us to extend this commitment to our producers in developing countries. In fact, we currently support communities in more than 50 countries via the Whole Trade program. Check out our interactive map, which shows these countries at a glance. Whole Trade is your passport to exploring the world at its most delicious, exotic and beautiful while empowering hard-working farmers, artisans and entrepreneurs in developing countries. Throughout the month, we'll be telling the stories of some of these very people. We hope you find them as inspiring as we do. Be sure to look for the Whole Trade Guarantee logo the next time you are in our store, and rest assured that when you pick up a Whole Trade product, you are making a difference. What's your favorite Whole Trade product?

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151 comments

Comments

sally regan says …

Being a small family farm member has many challenges. Earning a family supporting wage is difficult anywhere these days in the agricultural community.Taking care of the earth is a no brainer.Organic food is good for everyone, including mother earth. Please support organic food, you'll be glad you did.

Kathleen LaFollett says …

Products like this can only make you feel good inside and out!

Laura Upton says …

I love the quality of the Whole Trade products- and the taste of the coffee is outstanding!

Kendell Champion says …

I believe in supporting Whole Trade because of not only the quality you get but also knowing you are helping the environment and supporting the workers of this company.

Maggie Kelly says …

I appreciate the opportunity to use my buying power to create economic opportunities for workers in developing countries.

salem krieger says …

I really feel good about spending my money with companies and small business that support a healthy and labor fair value. Spread the wealth and enjoy the health.

dave k says …

It truly comes from the earth!

bob casey says …

Whole Trade - the real deal - It is refreshing to see companies that put in the extra effort to select and promote products that create viable and sustainable opportunities to those in developing countries and products that are "earth-friendly". Thanks, Bob

Gloria Canales says …

What I like best about purchasing Whole Trade Products is that it provide a quality product that is safe for the consumer and provide income for the people who make the product which in turn provides a better quality of life for them and their family. Last, but not least is the minimal impact that this natural product has on the enviroment, the carbon footprint has been minimize to say the least which is always good. Please, keep on pushing with your ideas to help mother earth and its people always.

Fran Rush says …

I love the jewelry--inexpensive bracelets from small collectives (is it World of Good?)--that are colorful and are perfect for me. It's not food or flowers, but something I use a lot.

Rachel Linden says …

I love your fair trade products...especially your personal care products...Alafia cocoa chapstick in paticular (it smells like chocolate and gives a nice sheen). I feel good about using it knowing that somewhere there is a fairly paid female worker making this with their hands from something from the soil and just maybe, one less souless machine. Also, I just read about Alafia on the web and it showed pictures of the ladies that make the shea butter...they are dressed in lovely colors, look happy and they all have lovely complections and skin...what better advertisement!!!

Kate Naka says …

Buying Fair Trade keeps the money in the workers hands. The hands that take care of and produce the products that we love. One of my favorite product is coffee. My husband couldn't live without it so I make sure he only purchases Fair Trade.

Bobbie Hudson Penick says …

It'shameful in these times when so many companys are earning such high profits so few have any conscience or feel any responsibility for the way in which these profits are earned. If more people supported businesses like Whole Foods with their wallets things would most assuredly change. I like knowing my money is going to a company that cares about how people & food are treated. Respect & love for our planet and all things on it is important to me and this seems to be the philosophy of the people of Whole foods. Thank you!

Mary Lou Banahan says …

I buy Whole Trade products to give back to others and support a better way of producing products. I want my consumer dollars to count and express my beliefs! Thank you for providing these alternatives. Mary Lou

Osiris says …

There is much work to do to create a shift in the way we work with each other in the global community. Although being conscious of our connection; taking our values into action and having the intention for a more lawful and brotherly/sisterly commercial interaction is helpful and inspiring, I would like to hear more stories like Alaffia. Great work!

mary ann clements says …

My favorite is Honest Teas. I know that I am getting a great taste along with an organic tea.

Romina Quillin says …

My favorite WF product are the cakes. Great ingredients, personally made, how can I go wrong? I watch my sugar intake, I make sure that when I do have sugar I eat whole raw sugar. No refined, bleached, or lab made. Since I changed my way of eating (about four years ago) WF has been able to supply me with all the ingredients I need to feed my family the best way I can.

Alice Losasso says …

What I like best is that not only are the products fantastic, but they help other people

Jamila Nevels says …

It is not so much what I like about Whole Trade products, but why I appreciate Whole Trade products. I appreciate the fact that every purchase I make, will go towards a good cause. I love the fact that I am supporting something with a purchase. I try to give, and do good works, but even if I lack in that category, I can walk in to Whole Foods, by a whole trade product, and feel like I have made a small difference. Small differences, eventually add up to big change.

Lori Brucato says …

In some small way, buying fair trade products helps build stronger communities and raises the standard of living of areas that produce fair trade products. Buy seeking out and purchasing these products I can also feel good about myself and the small part I play in helping these people and communities.

Mary Bath says …

I will certainly buy these products now! Great way to support our West African neighbors! Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

Fionna says …

Healthy eating in one shopping stop!

Jeanne pinkham says …

What a wonderful article, my favorite product is the chocolate. So much chocolat is traded and manufactured under awful conditions, your's isn't. Thanks Jeanne

Cathy says …

After completing the "Just Faith" coursework, my husband and I have slowly made steps towards Whole/Fair Trade products. It is still a mental adjustment I have to make to "pay more" for a product, rather than chasing the sale prices, knowing that we can't make a difference unless we are willing to fairly compensate the workers. I've started with fair trade coffee and organic yogurts, and slowly add different products to my grocery buying list. I'll give the Everyday shea products a try on my next visit to the store after reading this article. Thanks for keeping us informed!

Shelley Quezada says …

I spent ten days last summer working in Liberia, West Africa which is a rice culture. A one hundred pound bag of rice might feed a family for a whole month. But what else will they eat with the rice? Chicken? Maybe. Fish, possibly. When folks go out the door in the morning they often do not know where their next meal will come from. Buying any "fair trade" item is the best way those of us who live in plenty can immediately help people both in Africa and around the globe.

Bonnie Walker says …

Fair Trade. The word fair has a very strong meaning here. It means treating all people fair no matter where or what their place in this world is, I am talking about the people that work to grow and package the food. It also means being fair in what goes is in the food we eat. Nothing is in the food that we do not know about. The world would be a better place if everyone practiced Fair Trade. Regards Bonnie Walker

Joan Hollier says …

As I shop at Whole Foods and am able to purchase unique, healthy products throughout the store, I feel that I have made a wonderful progression from my participation in family food co-ops of the 1970s and local food co-op stores of the '80s and '90s. Thank you Whole Foods for enlightening and supporting your customers in their efforts to eat healthier and wiser. I love to be able to purchase fair trade products. Your policy of having employees stocking the shelves during store hours is appreciated. Whenever I ask one a question, they are very helpful.

Diane Ewert says …

I love this lotion. It is such a great product. I was so happy to hear that it is a good company also. One that cares about people and the environment, and gives back. That is so unusual these days. I love that Whole Foods seems to be associated with just this kind of company.

Nancy D'Aurora says …

I buy Fair Trade products so that the poor people envolved get a fair wage or living condition. I also like and trust the product quality when Fair Trade is involved.

erin richmond says …

I feel it is so important to let the small businesses and families get a chance in supporting themeselves with pure goods. We want the small companies that care in our country!

Susan says …

I love the chance to connect my life with others around the world and assure them of fair payment for their hard work. Buying fair trade gives me an opportunity to touch lives in other countries. Thank you for supporting global untiy and equity.

susan troche says …

Using Whole Trade products is one of the easier ways to make a difference. I use bath and body products daily anyway and now I am able to help out those in need without blinking an eye - I can just add them to my grocery list at Whole Foods.

Julia says …

It is awesome to know people still care about generational crafting! These time honored skills are really falling by the wayside and it's sad. Our children today, for the majority, are growing up not knowing what our ancestors learned from their elders. They are totally technological and haven't a clue where our products come from, who makes them, how, and where it's origination is. I'm all for this company to make it and others like it. Awesome!

ethel margulies says …

Rewarding the farmers and workers from poverty stricken countries by supporting their efforts and production in a fair way where they will be given a chance to make a living rather than the large often foreign combines is a worthy endeavor. It is your efforts that may make a change in those individuals lives

Debbi Dickinson says …

I believe in Free-Trade; because as a responsible consumer I'm doing my part to ensure farmers are being compensated fairly for their labors.

Sarah Simmons says …

Alaffia's story made me cheer for the triumph of the human spirit! Bravo for Whole Foods engagement, philosophy, and commitment. I wish more of the world trade was made of this type of "industry" and hope that this story and the Whole Trade endeavor will become contagious!

Barbara says …

It makes me happy when happy products come from happy people, who have been honored for their work. It makes me happy when the ground and the earth are given a chance to be renewed. Fair trade is just plain fair. Thank you

laurie hanna says …

I think the best thing about buying fair trade items, is that you know you aren't contributing to the continuation of grinding poverty, but paying a fair living wage to someone who has produced something of value to you. The producer is making the profit, not a huge multi-national corporation that has not contributed to the production, except possibly transportation.

Sonja Madlinger says …

Whole Trade is a win win situation....good safe products for us that are good for the environment that protects workers giving them better wages and working conditions.

Barb says …

Shea butter is awesome!

Kristin W. says …

Thanks to Whole Foods for creating a store that has fair trade! I feel much better spending my money on products that I know will help others - it makes feel that I am being a global consumer. Keep up the good work

Gloria says …

Whole Foods makes me feel like I have the family I never had. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to support the hard workers of integritous Whole Trade products. Shea is just a kiss away; by the way.

sharon pellino says …

The whole trade guarentee is genius! It is even more important today to help the environment and its people to get back to basics and keep pesticides and toxins from our children and soils. Treating both the environment and people with the respect we deserve is the goal of "Whole Trade." Congratulations to Whole Foods for helping the world be a better place to live!

Susan Bickelhaupt says …

Environmently speaking, it meets all criteria towards staying green with keeping up high standards if not exceding! Not to mention the comitment with all envolved I believe to be superior!

Emel says …

I love to go Whole Foods Market because it is close to my work. Lucky me!..Also I could find food from all oevr world. It is wonderful to find bulgur, cous cous, or barley in teh bulk even there. I say that is real Whole trade with all world product. I love the real green tea, and ofcourse i love barley plus cous cous. Even you could find delicious imported cheese, yummm!.. What about anise seeds one place that you could find it in town...

Joanne Tobin says …

It is my way of reaching out to connect with others in the world who may not have the advantages I have. If in some small way, by simply purchasing a product I can be of help then it is a good thing. This connection between peoples of the world must start with each of us caring.

diana roses says …

I am commited to buying fair trade products and Whole foods makes it easy to turn that vision a reality. Be it tea, chocolate, coffee, bananas or my favorite Alafia Shea conditioner. I love knowing I can go into any Whole Foods location and purchase prodcuts that align with my values! Keep up the good work!

Helene says …

Fair is fair. Buying fair trade products is a no-brainer.

Megan says …

What is life without Chocolate? My favorite Whole Trade product is the Everyday Value Organic Swiss Dark Chocolate Bar with Mint Crisps. My husband loves Dark chocolate and mint together. I am so proud to purchase products that are special to my family as well as families across the world. Thank you for your commitment to health, the environment, and providing better wages. It's not often that I feel good about buying chocolate, but this Whole Trade product makes me feel great!

Angela Heffner says …

It is so nice to know that by purchasing fair trade/whole trade items, we helping out people! I especially like the whole trade/fair trade coffee! Yumm!

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