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The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Supplier Alliance Helps Alleviate Poverty

Thanks to Joy Stoddard, Director of Partnership Development and Internal Programs for Whole Planet Foundation, for this post. As Whole Planet Foundation’s Executive Partnership and Internal Programs Director, I get to work with incredible people who donate their time and money to serve the very poor. Our Annual Prosperity Campaign is being celebrated in Whole Foods Market now, so you may already know about Whole Planet Foundation’s poverty alleviation programs where Whole Foods Market sources products in the developing world. Through worldwide microfinance partners, Whole Planet Foundation has reached over 130,000 microcredit clients with an opportunity to lift themselves and their families out of poverty, supporting over 650,000 people to live a better life. This empowerment is possible thanks to the generosity of Whole Foods Market, Whole Foods Market shoppers, team members and suppliers. In fact, hundreds of suppliers to Whole Foods Market donate to Whole Planet Foundation and their commitment is critical, especially members of our Supplier Alliance for Microcredit. This alliance of like-minded companies planting seeds of prosperity around the globe includes Allegro Coffee Company, Back to Nature, Cascal, Earth's Best, Naked Juice, Seventh Generation, Stacy's, Teas' Tea and Whole Foods Market. Their 2011 contributions of $450,000 will enable Whole Planet Foundation to empower over 2,000 more entrepreneurs with a microcredit loan and the chance to create or expand a home-based business to support their families. Why do Supplier Alliance for Microcredit partners donate so much money and promote Whole Planet Foundation? It’s a win-win partnership to make the world a better place. Some of these suppliers support Whole Planet Foundation because they source ingredients from the countries where Whole Planet Foundation is creating prosperity, like Allegro coffee from East Timor, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Indonesia, Kenya, Nicaragua, Rwanda, and Uganda. That coffee is why Whole Planet Foundation is giving back to the people who live there. When you purchase Allegro coffee, you too are creating prosperity. Claire Sidman explains why Earth’s Best joined the Alliance: “Earth’s Best and the Whole Planet Foundation share the goal of enriching the lives of families everywhere. Just as Earth’s Best enables parents to nurture their children in the purest way possible, Whole Planet Foundation paves the path to a better way of life for people around the globe and we are proud to support their mission and hope to help them realize their vision.” You can see this commitment when suppliers meet microcredit clients in person. In 2010, I had the pleasure of travelling to Peru with Jill Griffith from Naked Juice, Sreten Gaijic from Cascal and Joe Browne from Seventh Generation to meet clients of Whole Planet Foundation’s partner Pro Mujer. The year before that Seventh Generation’s Sheila Hollender joined me in Costa Rica, along with Jennifer LaFontaine and Steven Polonowski from Naked Juice and Stacy’s, and we got to meet clients of our partner Grameen Trust in Costa Rica, where Whole Foods Market sources bananas and pineapples. Seventh Generation’s Susan Johnson joined Whole Planet Foundation’s Genie Bolduc and me in Kenya in April to meet clients of our partner Jamii Bora Trust.  After their trip, these suppliers are powerful ambassadors, telling everyone they know how we can all empower the 3.8 billion people living on less than $2 a day to live a better life. It’s that kind of commitment that makes this Alliance successful in helping families worldwide. Finally, Supplier Alliance for Microcredit partners also support Whole Planet Foundation because 100% of their donation makes a difference because Whole Foods Market covers 100% of Whole Planet Foundation’s operating costs. Each and every dollar (and pound sterling!) donated to Whole Planet Foundation goes to microlending programs in the field, and it is repaid and reloaned in rural communities again and again. You can see special displays of these suppliers in Whole Foods Market stores during our Annual Prosperity Campaign that is running now until March 31. It’s our opportunity to say thanks for their generosity and we hope you will join us in supporting these companies that support families all over the world.