Transparency is a theme, as we have mentioned many times, that sets companies above the rest in terms of their ethics. As we found out in the Trader Joe’s article, transparency surprisingly transfers into grocery stores as well. One of the forerunners in grocery and food transparency in our world today is Whole Foods. Nutrition and health is their top priority, but they also believe alongside the team at Now Trending that quality and transparency truly go hand-in-hand. So, it is encouraging to see a food vendor get behind the concept of transparency as well. Why shouldn’t there be ethics in eating?

Whole Foods incorporates a transparent business and supply chain model in many sectors. For one thing, all the employees have open salary. Anyone can look up how much a person of any position at Whole Foods makes per year. This is tangent on their commitment to transparency in what they’re really about: food.

Whole Foods buys their products from multiple different suppliers, and requires strict quality evaluations upfront before they even consider purchasing. From the get-go, they are requiring brands to be completely open about how their food is produced before they choose to purchase it or not. They also operate under the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010 (one of our favorite players influencing clothing brands!!) to ensure that trafficking and slavery isn’t involved at all in their food supply chain. This includes auditing and certifications.

But, most impressively, Whole Foods has publicly announced that by September 1, 2018, they will be 100% GMO-transparent. This means that they are committing to being fully open about labeling their foods clearly. If a product has GMO’s in it, they will clearly label it as so, and if it doesn’t they will clearly label it as so. In addition to this big movement towards being transparent about their supply chain, they are producing progress reports on how they’re doing in this. They are being clear with their suppliers about certification requirements and auditing to make sure their labeling is correct. Whole Foods truly wants their customers to exercise their right to make informed choices. They believe that they must control what they can in terms of transparency and informing buyers, which is what comes into their own stores.

Whole Foods, though human rights aren’t directly involved, is supporting the idea that our money and spending matters. Consumers deserve to know what they are getting, and honesty and transparency is an important factor in providing this. They may not be fighting human trafficking on the front lines, but Whole Foods is being responsible with what they are responsible for. That’s a company we can support!

Written by: Madeleine Williams