Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Our Ham Producers Raise the Bar

Since knowing where your food comes from is as important to you as it is to us, we thought you’d like to meet the families who work year-round to provide the best possible hams for you and yours. We partner with dedicated family-owned farms and producers to make sure that our hams are the best for your special celebrations. Our hams are from pigs raised to meet our high standards, which means:

  • Raised with no antibiotics – ever
  • Raised with no added growth hormones*
  • No animal byproducts in the feed
  • No added nitrates or nitrites
  • Raised without gestation or farrowing crates

*Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones in raising pork In addition, our hams contain no artificial ingredients or preservatives. No water is added, so they are full of flavor. Visit our ham web page to learn how to choose the right ham for you, and get holiday ham cooking tips and recipes — including ideas for what to do with those delicious leftovers. A tip of the hat to these dedicated farmers and producers. Wellshire Farms A family-owned operation based in Swedesboro, NJ, Wellshire Farms has been committed to selling the highest-quality hams since 1993. Using small, family-owned farms to raise their animals, Wellshire requires these farms to subscribe to a land stewardship program that protects the purity of the farmland from pollution and water run-off. In addition, the family farms providing pork to Wellshire raise their pigs with strict protocols for the well-being of the animals. Wellshire Hams are available in all of our U.S. stores. Always check with your local meat team for specific availability. Pederson’s Natural Farms Based in Hamilton, Texas, Pederson’s has been producing fresh and smoked natural pork products since 1992. The farm is dedicated to providing superior quality, naturally cured hams for your enjoyment with a mantra of “real people making real food.” Pederson’s Natural Farms Hams are stocked in a number of our stores, so please check with your local meat team for specific availability. Niman Ranch For more than 30 years, Niman Ranch has been at the forefront of supporting sustainable agriculture, animal welfare and U.S. family farmers and ranchers. Now a network of 650 small independent family farmers and ranchers, Niman Ranch Pork began on Paul Willis’ family farm in Thornton, Iowa. All Niman Ranch hams come from hogs raised the old fashioned way, and with strict protocols for the well-being of the animals. Niman Ranch Hams are stocked in a number of our stores, so please check with your local meat team for specific availability. Vermont Smoke and Cure From its smokehouse in the hills of Central Vermont, Vermont Smoke and Cure has been crafting amazing hams using pure ingredients and traditional methods for more than 45 years. The secret to this wonderful ham from Vermont Smoke and Cure is a balance of flavors with smoke, salt, pork and pure Vermont maple syrup along with time-honored Vermont craftsmanship. Vermont Smoke and Cure Hams are available in our Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine and Connecticut stores. Always check with your local meat team for specific availability. Fra’ Mani Handcrafted Salumi Fra' Mani Handcrafted Salumi, based in Berkeley, California, was founded by nationally recognized chef Paul Bertolli. The culmination of Bertolli's zeal for authentic handcrafted foods,  Fra' Mani sources all animals from small family-run farms throughout the Midwest where pigs are allowed to roam, graze, wallow and root. Farmers chosen by Fra’ Mani are committed to sustainable farming practices where animals and land are managed as a healthy ecosystem. Fra’ Mani Hams are available in our Northern California and Nevada stores. Always check with your local meat team for specific availability. Goodnight Brothers For more than 60 years, Goodnight Brothers has been curing country hams in the cool crisp air of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. The family-run business uses proven methods of their Appalachian Mountain forefathers to produce the freshest, leanest and highest quality hams. Learn more about Goodnight in this video. Goodnight Brothers hams are available in our North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama stores. Always check with your local meat team for specific availability.

Editor’s Note: This blog was modified on 9/22/15 to update how we refer to our standards.

Leave a reply

To provide feedback or ask a question about our company, a store or a product, please visit our Customer Service page.

For more information about posting comments to our blog, please see our Comment Posting Guidelines.



keith says …

I am absolutely 100% against buying any animal product with any GMOs in the feed of animals that eat these. Can you guarantee that any of the meat producer's products are free of gmos? Thank you, Keith Kuhn

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@KEITH - Thanks for your question. Due to the prevalence of the GMOs in the commodity grain market, and the limited availability of verified non-GMO feed, we cannot require the use of only non- GMO feed for animal products (including meat, dairy and farmed fish) sold in our stores. We encourage shoppers who are looking to avoid products from animals fed GMOs to choose organic meat and dairy products (since organic standards prohibit the intentional use of GMOs), farmed molluscs such as clams, oysters, and mussels (since no added feed is used when farming these species), or wild-caught seafood. I hope this helps!

JL says …

Just tried the Vermont Smoke and Cure petite ham. It is savory, simple, delightful and local. Thank you!

Zoe Swartz says …

I would also live to see GMOs out of Wellshire products! I understand that non - gmo feed is hard to source but surely it can be done. Whole foods has been such a leader in the non - GMO movement; I know they will figure something out! I look forward to enjoying these products again once GMOs have been removed!

Kathryn Armstrong says …

I can't find one of my favorite hams from Niman Ranch that I usually get at Whole Foods. Will you be carrying it in the future?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@KATHRYN - Our buying is done at the store/regional level. Check with your local store directly to see if they plan to carry this.