Whole Foods Market joins GLOBALG.A.P. as a retail member

Whole Foods Market, the leading progressive grocery chain in North America, became a GLOBALG.A.P. retail member in August. Founded in 1980 and headquartered in Austin, Texas, it currently has over 420 locations throughout the USA and Canada. It expanded into the United Kingdom in 2004 and now operates 9 stores in England and Scotland.

"The company focuses on providing a wide range of natural food, health and household products to consumers. Whole Foods Market requires that all produce vendors and their suppliers operate using risk-based food safety plans created after performing a risk assessment to identify potential food safety hazards. Additionally, it requires that vendors of high-risk produce (such as salads, melons and green onions) have a 3rd party food safety audit, preferably to GFSI-recognized schemes, including GLOBALG.A.P's Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA-Crops-Fruit & Veg) and Produce Safety Standard (PSS)."

Whole Foods Market is a market-leader in supporting and driving adoption for organic, non-GMO and locally-grown fresh produce initiatives. In 2014 it introduced Responsibly Grown, an innovative, tiered rating system that assesses growing practices based upon their impact on human health, environmental sustainability, water conservation and worker welfare. It labels fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers as “good,” “better” or “best” to help shoppers make more informed choices, and it prohibits some of the most hazardous neurotoxins still allowed in agriculture.

GLOBALG.A.P. has worked with Whole Foods Market to benchmark its IFA standard to the Responsibly Grown system to identify overlapping requirements and simplify compliance for IFA-certified producers. We are currently exploring ways to further develop a streamlined audit process for growers seeking IFA certification and a verified Responsibly Grown rating.

Whole Foods Market’s Team Leader of Responsibly Grown, Robin Foster, commented: “Whole Foods Market launched Responsibly Grown with the goal of addressing some of the most critical agricultural issues we're facing today, and to reward growers who are taking major steps to protect human health and the environment. We're proud to be working with partners like GLOBALG.A.P. to address these important issues, benchmark achievements and raise the bar across the industry.”

According to Roberta Anderson, GLOBALG.A.P. sustainability consultant: “GLOBALG.A.P.'s partnership with Whole Foods Market is a great example of our commitment to developing efficient, pragmatic approaches to food safety and sustainability assurance. The more we can do to acknowledge similarities in standards, the better we can eliminate unnecessary duplication of efforts, saving both time and money for growers.”

Jonathan M. Needham
GLOBALG.A.P. North America Inc.
Tel: +1 (443) 869-6120

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