Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

What is the Whole Trade Guarantee?

You may have seen the Whole Trade® Guarantee seal on various items in our stores, but you may not be sure what exactly the Whole Trade® Guarantee is. Simply put, this little label is an extension of our core values. Anytime you see the Whole Trade® Guarantee on an item, it means that the product meets key criteria:
  • Meet our strict product Quality Standards
  • Provide more money to producers
  • Ensure better wages and working conditions for workers
  • Care for the environment
  • Donate 1% of sales to Whole Planet Foundation®

So how do we guarantee all that? First things first: to ensure a product deserves the Whole Trade seal, we taste, look, prod and poke for quality. Once we’re satisfied that you’ll be satisfied, we enlist third-party certifiers to examine environmental practices and working conditions on site. Allow me break it down even further so you know just what you’re getting when you buy a Whole Trade product.

Meet our Strict Quality Standards

We’re crazy for quality around here so, like all food in our stores, Whole Trade foods are subject to our standards, including no artificial preservatives, colors, flavors and sweeteners, and no hydrogenated fats.

Provide More Money to Producers

Equitable trade builds more sustainable, healthy economies in developing countries. A premium price paid to producers can:

  • Provide entry into and stability within the global marketplace
  • Be an investment in their families and communities
  • Put money back into their operations
  • Enable them to invest in training and education for workers
  • Support a better quality of life year-round

Ensure Better Wages and Working Conditions

On the job, Whole Trade producers provide better wages and safer conditions for the workers.

Thanks to community support programs, Whole Trade also benefits the workers and their families beyond the farm gate or the door of the production facility, and beyond a paycheck. The “social premium” Whole Foods Market® pays to producers for Whole Trade products supports social-improvement projects in the worker communities, such as:

  • Schools and daycare for worker families
  • Hospital equipment
  • Low-interest home-improvement loans
  • Bicycles to help kids get to school
  • Water and electricity access

Promote a Sustainable Environment

The Whole Trade Guarantee requires producers use sound environmental practices that encourage biodiversity and healthy soils. While some Whole Trade products are organic; others respect our planet Earth using a variety of conservation methods or respectful wild harvesting. Third-party certifiers confirm specific criteria is met.

Get the World’s Best Goods and Peace of Mind

For every Whole Trade product sold, 1% of the sale is donated to Whole Planet Foundation to help fund poverty alleviation through microcredit in the US and abroad. As of early 2012, the foundation has supported more than a million people in changing their own lives. When you purchase Whole Trade products, you’re helping Whole Planet Foundation, too!

Vote for a Win Win!

From now until the end of October, we’re giving you another way to show your support for the Whole Trade Guarantee and the farmers and workers who benefit. We’re donating $1 to your choice of three producer projects when you sign up to receive our email newsletters. Our goal is to raise $20,000, so if you don’t already receive our emails, sign up and tell your friends too. 

And the next time you’re in our store, look for the Whole Trade Guarantee seal on products including Allegro coffee, bananas, pineapples, mangoes, tomatoes, bell peppers, melons, roses, sugar, tea, chocolate, and more! We are thrilled to be able to offer these products in our stores, knowing that with every purchase you really are improving lives.

Is the Whole Trade Guarantee important to you?  What are some of your favorite Whole Trade products?