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The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

 

128 Comments

Comments

JIM says ...
As I have mentioned, there is no excuse for greed that leads to environmental or food safety problems. There are good companies in China, so do not through an entire culture under the bus due to a few bad apples. Remember, it was not that long ago U.S. manufacturers brought us asbestos, so we are not immune to product safety issues right here at home. Yes, I do trust the farmers and manufacturers of food products in China. They are very focused on learning from the issues that occurred in the past and preventing their recurrence. Developing standards and making an extra effort to ensure product quality and safety is both the responsibility of the exporting and importing country. I am seeing this cooperation in the business that I do in China, and I do see the Chinese government taking this issue very seriously. I continue to buy local and support my local farmers as much as possible. I also believe in supporting the hardworking family farmers in China, or elsewhere in the world. We need to consume more healthy foods, and if imports can help us achieve that aim, then they should supplement our local sources. Jim
10/04/2010 5:52:08 PM CDT
Sam Taylor says ...
I'm happy to read that you have stopped the sourcing of foods from China, excepting Edamame. May I suggest that this also be stopped? If enough organic farmers in the US realize the size of the market for organic edamame, they may well match or nearly match the Chinese option. Even having read all of your explanations, I still don't trust Chinese produce to be really organic. The country's waters and land are just too polluted right now. Perhaps in the future.
01/18/2011 12:36:50 PM CST
Sky says ...
I don't care how Whole Foods Corporate spins this, they should not offer food from China at all, especially organic. China cheats on EVERYTHING and they are laughing at your buyers when they leave to think how dumb you'd be to think their food is actually organic or not full of dangerous pesticides. They will put on a show for you when you visit, but after, they will cut every corner and use whatever chemical they can to save money/make money. Whole Foods knows better, they just are Greedy in this case. Put the label MADE IN CHINA on the front in letters big enough to actually notice and you know NO ONE will buy this garbage. Quit trying to sneak in things like this...just do the right thing always and don't be so greedy...people will understand the truth and pay more if needed, but don't try to sneak China food by us with tiny country names on the back of products. With the social media power today, you could find your stores in a huge boycott almost overnight if this goes viral. You guys would make money not doing this sneaking stuff at all, so why would you even risk it? I also saw where the state of california sued you for putting nasty chemicals in so called "Organic" and "Natural" hair and skin care products, WTF? Why would you undermine the trust of your customers with this sneaky and greedy actions? I suggest the top people have a pow wow and rewrite you value and mission statement to not pull any more of these sneaky tricks again...go clean from here on in. Like Domino's Pizza did...what a success that was. I'm sure your still sneaking more things like the China veggies and the dangerous shampoos...so fess up, stop it, and reap the rewards.
02/18/2011 9:53:18 PM CST
Cherie says ...
Where are your chanterelle mushrooms from? In the store I was at in Vancouver, the label DID NOT say!
05/25/2011 5:31:49 PM CDT
Marcia says ...
Wow, am I late to the party on this one. I just had the video e-mailed to me and didn't realize this was from a couple of years ago. I have completely lost faith in the Whole Foods brand. Please don't insult our intelligence with your exhaustive explanation of why we can trust "organic" produce from China. I've had discussions with some of your seafood personnel about all of the fish that you source from Asia (responsibly farmed I'm assured). I'm sure today's news story about the filthy seafood coming in form overseas can be applied to the products your buyers procure as well if it can help with that stock price. I'm going to skip the 365 brand completely now and will only shop at WF when necessary. It is a shame that such a high caliber company has become another Wal-Mart. I'll make sure everyone that I know that shops at WF sees the video on this as well. Kudos for doing the right thing after the PR disaster but it truly leaves your general corporate integrity in question overall. I've been a customer since the late 90's and so sad to see that you've sold out.
10/05/2011 4:53:47 PM CDT
janejohnson says ...
@Marcia Thank you for reaching out and giving us an opportunity to continue the discussion. We only discriminate when it comes to quality and taste, not country of origin. Whole Foods Market continues to buy from China because we believe in supporting farmers that provide high quality products. Our strategy is not to run away from our Chinese suppliers, but to take a stand and get closer to our suppliers. We will continue to improve on the audit and testing procedures that are already in place. Organic farming has a long history in China. Our strategy is to build long term partnerships with our Chinese suppliers. We are confident in the quality and integrity of our products from all countries, including China. As the world population grows, we are going to be forced to look at our supply chains and develop emerging organic suppliers all over the world. The steps we are taking now will assure the long term quality of our supply as we look beyond the United States for organic food solutions. If you have further questions about our products and buying protocols feel free to connect with our private label team at privatelabel.customerservice@wholefoods.com.
10/06/2011 1:34:58 PM CDT
Ann says ...
I am Asian and my friends and family are multi-generational American Asians. None of us will buy any food from China. We don't trust any labeling from China. We feel the Chinese has brought shame to the Asian community by making short term profit from unsafe, poisonous, and fake products. Did you know that the Chinese even make fake EGGS? The Asians are embarrassed by the obvious greed and the lost of trust by the world consumers will be hard to win back.
10/27/2011 6:06:06 PM CDT
John Gunther says ...
I recently watched the video on Eros. Watching it reminded me just how important it is for people to be aware of the journey a product takes before it hits the shelves. After seeing the attention that Eros pays to the environment I am certainly more inclined to give there product a shot. When a customer came through with a case of the product I was so eager to tell her about their methods of production. She loved the product and was thrilled to hear how thorough they were in their mission of helping the environment.
10/31/2011 4:32:41 PM CDT
Veronica Johnson says ...
How sustainable is getting any food from China? Regardless of organic standards, that's a lot of fuel and a huge waste of natural resources!
11/01/2011 11:19:55 AM CDT
BONNIE says ...
I just got the link below, but don't know if it's for real, or from quite a long time ago. I asked about it in my local store yesterday and no one knew about it or had any interest in speaking to me about it. http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=JQ31Ljd9T_Y thanks for your help w/understanding this.
11/16/2011 9:44:39 AM CST
janejohnson says ...
@Bonnie This was a media push from some time ago. Since this is an issue that many were concerned with, for the best way to get acquainted with the situation and the current information, I recommend you read the blog post and all the response comments from Team Members on the blog. There is a lot of great information shared there. Thanks for reaching out and your willingness to work with us to stop the spread of misinformation.
11/17/2011 2:37:02 PM CST
Amanda says ...
Wow, I'm another one that is late to this party as I just received the video link via an email. What saddens me most is that two of the WF's core values I had come to understand was local farm support and sustainability. How can we support our local farms -- whether in our county or country -- when WF is sourcing food from not just another country, but one from the opposite side of the globe? Specialty products for shoppers who desire ingredients for cultural recipes makes complete sense...but how can WF justify other more common products that are grown locally, and even on the same continent? The cost of fuel used to transport produce from China is especially shameful when we all know high-quality produce is available at a fraction the fuel cost. While I truly appreciate the business perspective (I am a capitalist), I do not condone business profits over values, especially when that is NOT the message advertised throughout the store. I'm one of the lucky ones, living in a state where other organic options are more available than in other locals. I already pay a premium for (what I thought was) organically grown food for my family. I guess more of my large monthly food budget will be going to farmers markets and New Seasons. Honestly, even though this news is 18+ months old, my opinion of and trust in WF is shaken. I feel like someone bumped the mask and I peeked Wal-Mart behind the Whole Foods logo.
11/30/2011 11:44:34 AM CST
Kay Hamme says ...
I don't care what you say, food products from China do not belong in Whole Foods. I will never buy them. I am very disappointed and believe that by selling these products you are damaging your brand.
12/14/2011 7:36:22 PM CST
janejohnson says ...
@Kay Please see the most up to date information regarding our sourcing. The only organic item we now source from China are the 365 Edamame. The newest information can be found in the team member responses from earlier posts. Thank you.
12/20/2011 9:53:11 AM CST
Mark W., Sonoma County, CA says ...
I would not buy the food if I new it was from China. This news is way too late for me.
12/26/2011 3:08:32 PM CST
Super Girls says ...
your site is very interesting, i have read a few of the articles on your website now..... and i add this site to my bookmarks....
12/28/2011 5:01:48 PM CST
Jim Breneman says ...
I have read your response to the WJLA 2008 report and was happy to see that you no longer use "organic" foods from China in your frozen offerings. Being very familiar with certification and accreditation and having traveled to China I can offer the following opinion. The fact that some (most often in-country) "inspector" or Quality Assurance person(s) have passed a process as being (in your case) "organic" is farcical at best. In addition to the recent problems with food safety in China I have been witness to local inspectors "passing" processes and later finding that they did not even look at them. My hat is off to you for responding to your customers in the US.. and I will continue to buy at Whole Foods and (of course) look at the country of origin for ALL my food.
01/20/2012 2:41:22 PM CST
Jane Fraga says ...
I resonate with many of the posts that express concern about consuming anything from China for 2 reasons: 1) I sat on a bus with a college student from China who said his own home town has been so polluted the people can barely drink the water or plant a garden. The air, water, soil concerns in China trump any certification about farming practices. We are unable to get edamame from the US because?? 2) We shoot ourselves in the foot by insisting on natural & organic farming practices, while supporting the use of petroleum to transport products across continents that we can access from a closer location. This is insanity.
01/22/2012 12:22:23 PM CST
frank albergo says ...
i am sorry. when i saw the abc piece i was shocked!!!! outraged!!! even if it says organic and it is from china it is not to be trusted. you guys really blew it. this was not a smart business decision and you have violated a trust. i will think twice before stepping into a whole foods again. frank
02/07/2012 12:48:12 PM CST
P. Allen says ...
I just saw the ABC piece in e-mail. I am furious that I have been a loyal WF customer for years and never suspected something like this. I passed along the link to my entire address book. Former Customer
03/23/2012 1:06:28 PM CDT
janejohnson says ...
@P.Allen Please read the most up-to-date information. The article to which you're referring is 4.5 years old now and full of information that is no longer accurate. You can read the most recent response here. http://blog.wholefoodsmarket.com/2012/03/dispelling-rumors-organics-from-china/
03/23/2012 1:43:30 PM CDT
Randy says ...
I wanted to comment on the China and organic products. After the baby food problem they had awhile back I for one can not see how anyone could trust these people.
07/31/2012 5:44:26 PM CDT
Amonnaempinee says ...
Hi everyone, am from Aurora.. this forum and coomunity looks nice.. i am looking forward to have good time here.. currently i am not active member of any forum, but this community appeals me looking forward to have some good time
08/16/2012 6:44:37 AM CDT
consultant china says ...
China has now become a big exporter of organic food. Also, in China's domestic market, the online trade volume of organic food has been increasing. This is an article I wrote about organic food market in China. http://daxueconsulting.com/organic-food-in-china/ Hope you can read it and we may exchange ideas.
10/16/2012 7:44:27 AM CDT
Dave Dalzell says ...
Learning of this large scale deception only conjures up the expression, 'how the mighty have fallen'. In a shameless quest for profits the core principal of local, pesticide free food can no longer be a legitimate claim for this once great food chain. Outrageous to see that the country of origin for the 'wildflower honey' I just bought is India and Brazil. Food from China is everywhere at Whole Foods, and is one hundred percent ghastly. This is a stain on their credibility that they can never recover from.
02/10/2013 10:27:34 PM CST

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