What do you love most about local products? Take our poll on locally grown opens in a new tab and see how your thoughts stack up with others.Supporting local farmers puts a "face" behind our foods and keeps us connected to the seasons, as well as the unique flavor and diversity of local crops. Local farms are a valuable component of a community's character, helping to maintain agricultural heritage, preserve land use diversity and moderate development. Many local farmers choose to diversify, growing a variety of crops instead of just one. This is a boon for biodiversity and your palate, since local crops are harvested at their peak of freshness and flavor. And most of the money spent on local production stays in the community, "greening up" the local economy.At Whole Foods Market, we are committed to supporting local farmers, producers and artisans by buying locally. Unlike most conventional supermarkets, we have buyers at the store level who are empowered and encouraged to search out and work with local producers in their communities. So, how far is local? For us, it depends on the area. While only products that have traveled less than a day (7 or fewer hours by car or truck) can even be considered for "local" designation, many of our stores have established even shorter maximum distances.Let’s put our money where our mouths are
We know that we all win if we support our local farmers and producers. That’s why Whole Foods Market created our Local Producer Loan Program opens in a new tab (LPLP) to provide up to $10 million in low-interest loans to small, local producers. We want to make it easier for them to grow their businesses and bring more local products to market. Loans range from $1,000 to $100,000 and can be for things like purchasing more animals, investing in new equipment or converting to organic production. We minimize the fees, interest rates and paperwork that can often get in the way of a small local farm or business taking the next step to expand its operations.Check out where our local food comes from opens in a new tab on this interactive map and meet some of our Local Producer Loan Recipients opens in a new tab.Buying local is sometimes, but not always, better for the environment, but there are many, many good reasons for choosing local. About 22% of Whole Foods Market’s fresh produce is locally grown and we offer many local products beyond fresh fruits and vegetables.Remember: Every bite has a story. Your conscious food choices make a world of difference. Learn more at Let’s Retake our Plates opens in a new tab.