Organic farmers and Whole Foods Market have had a long history of a symbiotic relationship. The grocer Whole Foods has supported stoke the American appetite for these healthy foods and build stores which are essentially showcasing organic vegetables, foods, and flowers that have been tagged with the names of those who have grown them.
However, this relationship is now strained as the grocer is now increasing competition from its mainstream grocery chains and the farmers producing organic food are finding more and more outlets to showcase and sell their produce.
At present, some of the organic farmers are content that the grocer Whole Foods is quietly utilizing its formidable marketing strategies and its credibility with consumers to survey food that is conventionally grown as just good or even better as compared to their organic food products. However, shoppers can either choose from fruits or vegetables that have a label of either good, better, or best.
Whole Foods long time suppliers are however complaining about this program, which is called Responsibly Grown which can either grant a farmer that did not meet the strict requirements for federal organic certification the same rating like that of an organic farmer or even a higher one. The farmers farming using conventional methods can receive higher ranking by doing things such establishing a garbage recycling program, elimination certain pesticide, and relying more on alternative energy sources.
According to farmers in a letter that was sent to the co-founder and co-chief of Whole Foods branch based in Austin, Whole Foods has done a lot to educate and help consumers about eating organic food. However, this new rating program tends to undermine a great degree of this effort.