Our Values and Mission
Our motto—Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet — emphasizes that our vision reaches beyond food retailing. In fact, our deepest purpose as an organization is helping support the health, well-being, and healing of both people — customers, Team Members, and business organizations in general — and the planet.
And our Core Values are not just words on a wall somewhere: they’re guiding principles that inform every decision we make—from the daily, face-to-face interactions with our customers to larger decisions that impact the way Whole Foods Market evolves and grows.
We encourage our Team Members to connect with our Core Values on a personal level, choosing the one(s) that are most meaningful to them and making them “come to life” in their work. It is empowerment in its truest sense, and we think it’s what can make working at Whole Foods Market such a unique and rewarding experience.
Our Core Values
- Selling the highest quality natural and organic products available
- Satisfying, delighting and nourishing our customers
- Supporting Team Member happiness and excellence
- Creating wealth through profits and growth
- Serving and supporting our local and global communities
- Practicing and advancing our environmental stewardship
- Creating ongoing win-win partnerships with our suppliers
- Promoting the health of our stakeholders through healthy eating education
Our Mission in Action
Since opening our first store in Austin, Texas in 1980, our whole business has been about making a difference – in the lives of our Team Members and the customers we serve, and in the communities and environments in which we operate.
What follows are just a few of the ways that Whole Foods Market’s company culture reflects and reinforces our belief that companies should operate with a higher purpose beyond profits, and create value for all involved:
- We hold a regular, company-wide vote that allows Team Members to choose the health and benefits package they want the company to offer.
- 93% of stock options awarded since our IPO have gone to non-executive Team Members.
- A salary cap limits cash compensation (wages plus bonuses) to 19 times the average of all full-time Team Members employed during the year.
- Our financial books are open to Team Members, including our annual individual compensation report listing gross pay for all Team Members – even executives.
- Our Whole Planet Foundation is a not-for-profit group charged with combating poverty and promoting self-sufficiency in third-world countries that supply us with some of the products we sell.
- We have established a Global Team Member Emergency Fund for the benefit of Team Members throughout the company who become affected by major disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes and wildfires.
- Our new Whole Cities Foundation is dedicated to supporting efforts that bring fresh, nutritious food and broader access to healthy eating education to underserved communities. It aims to build collaborative partnerships with community organizations that are poised to make significant impact in their neighborhoods to help improve individual and overall community health and wellness in the U.S.
- We regularly donate food and other products to support organizations such as homeless shelters, food banks, schools and others.
- Our Whole Trade program helps make it easy for customers to shop with conscience while bringing our commitment to transparent, ethical, and responsible sourcing and production to life. Whole Trade products must meet our high quality standards, provide more money to producers, ensure better wages and working conditions for workers, and promote a sustainable environment.
- We support local growers and vendors by providing a marketplace for their goods and doing what we can to contribute to the success of these growers and the local economy. Our Locally Grown initiative creates local jobs and ensures the continuation of independent farming and the diversity of land use.
- Established in 2006, our Local Producer Loan Program provides up to $25 million in low-interest loans to independent local farmers and food artisans to help them expand their businesses.
- We are in the process of converting our distribution fleets to bio-diesel. Our goal is to move toward non-GMO bio-diesel as it becomes available.
- As part of our Green Mission, we promote environmentally sound practices for every aspect of store, facility and office operations.
- We purchase renewable energy credits (RECs) to offset 100% of the electricity used in all of our locations (retail and non-retail) in North America. In fact, Whole Foods Market ranked #2 on the list of America’s top 20 purchasers of green power, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) July 2013 Green Power Partnership report.
- Our Whole Kids Foundation’s mission is to support schools and inspire families to improve children's nutrition and wellness. The foundation’s ultimate goal is to get kids eating more veggies and fruits — and enjoying it!