AUSTIN, TX (September 4, 2008) — Whole Foods Market® (NASDAQ: WFMI), the leading natural and organic foods supermarket, announced that Margaret M. Wittenberg, the Company’s Global Vice President for Quality Standards and Public Affairs, has been selected to serve as one of four new members on the Board of Directors for The Organic Center. Based in Boulder, Colorado, The Organic Center is a nonprofit organization that advances peer-reviewed scientific research and information behind the health and environmental benefits of organic food and farming, and communicates those benefits to the public.
“It’s a real honor to be chosen to participate in this important organization,” said Wittenberg. “I look forward to working with the rest of the Board to support more research of organic farming and practices and helping to communicate its benefits to the public and policy makers.”
Wittenberg will serve a three-year term along with fellow new Board members Sara Snow, organic, healthy living and environmental TV host; Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook and Timothy Escamilla, VP of Procurement and Supply Chain for Ready Pac. Existing board members are Alan Greene, M.D., Clinical Professor of Stanford University Children’s Hospital; Kathleen Merrigan, Ph.D., Director of the Agriculture, Food and Environment Program, Tufts University; David Pimentel, Ph.D., Professor, Cornell University; George Siemon, CEO of Organic Valley; Mark Retzloff, President, Aurora Organic Dairy; Sheryl Lamb, organic advocate; James White, Senior VP, Consumer Brands, Safeway; Anthony Zolezzi, President, Zolezzi Consulting; David Gagnon, Interim Executive Director, Organic Trade Association; and Michelle Goolsby, former EVP of Development, Sustainability and Corporate Affairs, Dean Foods Inc.
Wittenberg and her fellow new Board members will replace several Board members, whose terms of service have expired, including Walter Robb, Co-President and Chief Operations Officer for Whole Foods Market. Robb has been appointed to The Organic Center’s new group of Advisory Directors as special counsel to the Board and the organization. Other Advisory Directors are former Organic Center board members Andrew Weil, M.D., author and founder of Weil Lifestyle and Katherine DiMatteo, Partner of Wolf, DiMatteo and Associates and current President of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM).
“We are so pleased with not only bringing in new distinguished members to our Board of Directors, but also in creating a new Advisory Director group,” says Alan Greene, M.D., Chair of The Organic Center. “The diverse skills, talents and energies these individuals bring to the table will be a welcome addition to the Center. As strong supporters of our work in the past, they have already made a significant contribution, and now, as they join the board, we are excited by what we can accomplish together in advancing and communicating the science behind the organic benefit—and in raising much-needed funding for the work of The Organic Center.”
Since 1981, Wittenberg has provided guidance in quality standards development, food and nutrition education and corporate communications at Whole Foods Market. Her global advisory board work has focused on organic agriculture, seafood sustainability,livestock animal welfare, and agricultural genetic engineering. She also currently serves on the Global Animal Partnership Board of Directors, the Whole Planet Foundation Board of Directors, and The Marine Stewardship Council Stakeholder Council and Board of Trustees. In the past, Wittenberg served on the USDA National Organic Standards Board as the sole retailer representative and she chaired its Processing, Labeling and Handling Committee and as well as the Aquaculture Working Group. She also served on the Organic Trade Association Board of Directors, the Texas Organic Standards Board of Directors, the Natural Products Quality Assurance Alliance Steering Committee and the Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology Stakeholder Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology.
Wittenberg has received honors and accolades over the years including the Rachel Carson Award from the National Audubon Society in recognition of more than 30 years of work championing organic agriculture, sustainability and the environment and appreciation by the USDA for five years of service on National Organic Standards Board. Also a published author, her most current books include New Good Food: Essential Ingredients for Cooking and Eating Well, released in Fall 2007, and New Good Food Shopper’s Pocket Guide to Organic, Sustainable, and Seasonal Foods, released in Spring 2008.