AUSTIN, TX (November 11, 2008) — Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFMI), a leader in the natural and organic foods industry and America’s first national certified organic grocer, scored the highest among the top 25 U.S. grocery retailers for availability of humanely labeled foods in a survey conducted by the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA). Whole Foods Market was recognized for offering twice as many humanely labeled products per store in 2008 as the second highest-ranking company, according to the WSPA survey. WSPA polled 200 stores representing a sample of the top 25 supermarket corporations by annual sales and located in 34 states, to discover the availability of animal friendly food. The survey recorded the availability of products in dairy, eggs, unprocessed meat and poultry, and processed meat and poultry (bacon, ham, hot dogs, etc.).

“We are proud of our exceptional position within the grocery industry for championing innovative production systems that improve the quality, taste and the safety of our animal products, while also supporting the comfort, physical safety, and health of the animals on the farms and ranches,” said Margaret Wittenberg, Global Vice President of Communications and Quality Standards for Whole Foods Market. “Our goal is to make it easy for shoppers to make informed choices. We know that many of our customers say humane treatment of farm animals is important to them.”

The WSPA is an international animal welfare organization with its headquarters in London and with 16 other offices worldwide. The organization holds consultative status with the United Nations and observer status with the Council of Europe and represents the largest alliance of animal welfare organizations in the world with more than 900 member societies in over 150 countries.

“We know from public opinion polls that Americans care about how animals raised for food are treated and that people want to choose humanely when they shop,” said Dena Jones, Program Manager for WSPA USA. “But shoppers don’t know which stores carry animal-friendly foods or what to look for on the product label. In our survey of US grocery store chains, only Whole Foods Market offered a variety of humanely labeled egg, dairy, meat and poultry items.”

Complete survey results are available at: