Whole Foods Market has teamed up with longtime supplier partner American Homestead Natural Pork to launch the first large-scale Non-GMO Project Verified™ fresh pork program at Whole Foods Market stores in Oregon and Washington.
The new program, which includes a full lineup of fresh pork cuts in store meat cases, will offer a variety of choices for shoppers who are looking to avoid meat from animals fed genetically modified organisms (GMOs)*. All offerings also meet Whole Foods Market’s strict animal welfare standards.
This achievement marks a significant point in Whole Foods Market’s progress toward providing GMO transparency for the products it sells, and is a step forward in meeting the needs of shoppers who are increasingly requesting organic and non-GMO alternatives.
“Our customers tell us they want more non-GMO choices, and we’re listening,” said Joe Rogoff, president of Whole Foods Market’s Pacific Northwest Region. “The path to earning non-GMO verification isn’t an easy one. We’re grateful to American Homestead Natural Pork for taking on the challenge of helping us reach this key milestone, and for sharing our commitment to transparency and uncompromised standards.”
Meat itself cannot be tested to determine if it is from animals fed GMOs, which makes achieving verification for meat even more complex than for plant-based products. In order to earn verification, suppliers must only feed their animals non-GMO-verified feed, and are subject to regular, ongoing testing. To earn its verification, American Homestead Natural Pork worked with local farmers and feed mill partners to grow, test, segregate, blend and locally distribute non-GMO-verified feed to its farmer partners who are producing pork for Whole Foods Market.
“We are very appreciative of our farmer partners, and of Whole Foods Market for their commitment in achieving this goal,” said Dee McLaughlin, CEO of American Homestead Natural Pork. “We believe in this program and how it fits within our philosophy of breed, tradition, and care. It is an exciting step forward for us.”
Whole Foods Market now carries more than 25,000 certified organic products** and 8,500 non-GMO Project Verified products in its stores companywide, making Whole Foods Market a top destination for shoppers who are looking to avoid GMOs. In March 2013, Whole Foods Market became the first national grocer to set a deadline for full GMO transparency. By 2018, all food sold in Whole Foods Market’s U.S. and Canadian stores must have full GMO transparency.
Whole Foods Market currently has eight stores and one mobile grocery location in Oregon and seven stores in Washington.
* Raised and fed a diet in compliance with Non-GMO Project standards for the avoidance of genetically engineered ingredients.
**The USDA National Organic Standards prohibit the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in organic food.