Los Angeles, CA (January 15, 2008) — Whole Foods Market (Nasdaq: WFMI), the world's leading natural and organic foods supermarket and the nation's first certified organic grocer, continues its commitment to environmental stewardship by partnering with New Chapter Supplements and the Monteverde Conservation League to raise money to buy Rain Forest land in Costa Rica.

 

This land will be an extension of what is already the largest private reserve of protected Rain Forest in Central America. A classroom of Swedish first and second graders began to send money to protect a critical piece of Rain Forest in Monteverde, Costa Rica. They called it the “Children’s Eternal Rainforest,” 20 years ago. Their efforts spurred other classrooms throughout the world to do the same. This children’s crusade inspired others in 44 countries to help create what is now 54,000 acres of protected tropical biodiversity.

 

Whole Foods Market in the Southern Pacific Region will continue to help buy essential land that needs preservation by holding a Regional 5% Day on Wednesday, January 30th, when 5% of the day’s net sales will be donated to the Monteverde Conservation League, the conservators of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest. The money raised will help buy land specifically in the Transitional Forest that connects the Children’s Eternal Rainforest and the Cloud Forest in Monteverde to the classic Rain Forest.

 

All zones of the Rain Forest are critical as much wildlife migrates altitudinally – following their food up and down the Rain Forests through wet and dry seasons. If the Transitional Forest is not protected and becomes barren, the Cloud Forest creatures will be locked into the clouds and won’t be able to follow their food source down the mountain. Many animals will not cross barren land to find their food. This will ultimately lead to mass extinctions.

 

But Whole Foods Market and its customers, New Chapter Supplements, and the Monteverde Conservation League will be saving that barren land and turning it into a vibrant and fertile path for the Rain Forest wildlife! Additionally, through February 14th, customers can add to their food purchases in $1 increments to benefit the Monteverde Conservation League. Plus, from January 17th – February 13th, Function Drinks will donate 25 cents from the purchase of each of their products sold at Whole Foods Market, Southern Pacific Region, to the Monteverde Conservation League to help support the Children’s Eternal Rainforest.

 

Why saving the Rain Forest makes a difference in our lives: -Rain Forests act as giant sponges, absorbing and recycling water. Without Rain Forests, there would be more floods, droughts and deserts. -Most of the plants that have cancer-fighting properties grow in tropical Rain Forests. -Though Rain Forests cover only a small part of the earth, half of the world’s plants and animal species live within them. -More than one quarter of the medicinal drugs prescribed in the US come from Rain Forest plants. -By the time it is 100 years old, a Rain Forest tree has provided enough oxygen for a human being to breathe for 20 years. -Many favorite foods like coffee and chocolate – come from the Rain Forest! About Whole Foods Market® Founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market (http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/) is the world’s leading natural and organic foods supermarket and America’s first national certified organic grocer. In fiscal year 2006, the company had sales of $5.6 billion and currently has more than 270 stores in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The Whole Foods Market motto, “Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet”™ captures the company’s mission to find success in customer satisfaction and wellness, employee excellence and happiness, enhanced shareholder value, community support and environmental improvement. Whole Foods Market, Fresh & WildTM, and Harry’s Farmers Market® are trademarks owned by Whole Foods Market IP, LP. Wild Oats® and Capers Community MarketTM are trademarks owned by Wild Marks, Inc. Whole Foods Market employs more than 50,000 Team Members and has been ranked for ten consecutive years as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in America by FORTUNE magazine.

 

About The Monteverde Conservation League

 

The Monteverde Conservation League is a private, non profit association of Costa Rica with International members from around the world. They administer El Bosque Eterno de los Niños (BEN) or “Children’s Eternal Rainforest.” They started working in 1986, protecting the Rain Forest bordering the famous Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve. To protect the reserve from becoming an ecologically isolated island in a sea of pastures and farms, the League began an innovative land-acquisition program. In 1987 a group of Swedish children raised money and sent it to the League to buy and protect threatened forests near Monteverde. Every acre of Rain Forest is a rich storehouse of tropical nature, alive with thousands of species of plants, insects and animals.

 

The Monteverde Conservation League (MCL) is involved in protection, education, reforestation and research activities in and around its Children’s Eternal Rainforest, Costa Rica’s largest private reserve. They have a trail system and visitor center in 80 acres of protected pre-montane Pacific slope forest called Bajo del Tigre. Visitors have the opportunity to observe toucans, mot-mots, white-faced monkeys, agoutis, coatis, grey fox, armadillos, ocelot, chachalaca, three-wattled bellbirds, long-tailed manakins, and more. For more information, email info@acmcr.org or go to www.mclus.org.