AUSTIN, TX. Feb. 4, 2008
. Whole Foods Market has declared February “Whole Trade Guarantee Month” to celebrate its continued commitment to sourcing socially responsible products from more than 25 developing countries.
“We are thrilled to offer shoppers an opportunity to give in a way that makes a meaningful impact on peoples' lives,” said Karen Christensen, global produce coordinator for Whole Foods Market. “By giving Whole Trade products as gifts this year, shoppers can help the most environmentally and socially responsible producers in developing countries establish themselves in the global marketplace.”
In keeping with the season, Whole Foods Market is featuring Valentine's Day classics, including decadent, single-origin chocolates and robust, elegant roses that are worthy of the Whole Trade Guarantee seal of approval.
Theo Chocolate – the only organic, fair trade “bean-to-bar manufacturer” in the United States. Certified by TransFair USA, Theo uses chocolate from Costa Rica. The Whole Trade Guarantee supports the Cabecar and Bribri indigenous communities in remote Talamanca, Costa Rica. Thanks to the program, the communities can intercrop organic cacao with food, and fuel crops in a way that preserves water and soil quality, along with fragile tropical ecosystems – a method that helps to ensure the profitability of these crops for years to come.
Whole Trade Roses –
large-bud, long-stem classic roses grown in the Ecuadorian Andes by eight small farms and certified by TransFair USA. Whole Foods Market pays an additional percentage on each case of Whole Trade flowers purchased to directly fund community development for farm workers. Worker groups from each farm collectively decide how to use the money for development projects, which have included education, training, scholarships, health care and housing. For example, with the help of a washing machine project supported by Whole Trade Guarantee premiums, the Ecuadorian rose farm workers now have access to washing machines, drastically improving their daily lives.
To delve deeper into the stories of these Whole Trade products and producers, visit www.wholefoodsmarket.com. While on the Company's website, shoppers can enter a sweepstakes for the chance to receive free Whole Trade Guarantee flowers for one year.
To be considered for Whole Trade Guarantee designation, products must meet Whole Foods Market's high quality standards, and producers must ensure fair wages and safe conditions for workers while caring for the environment during production. By paying honest, respectable prices for these products, Whole Foods Market is enhancing the lives of impoverished people around the world. Plus, with each purchase, 1 percent of the retail price goes to the Whole Planet Foundation, which helps in the fight against poverty in developing countries.