Whole Foods has been one of the most successful natural products stores in the United States. From small beginnings, they have become a publicly traded market leader, and were recently acquired by the ubiquitous AMAZON.
Beyond the huge corporate story of Whole Foods rise, however, is the fact that they are still a health food store. In as much, they are part of the larger Natural Products Industry which has done important things as a whole such as fight for the Dietary Supplements Health Education act, strengthen the integrity of the Organic act, and has generally involved the work of many to bring the natural food and holistic medicine/lifestyle to a wider range of people across the country.
This is why it makes me sad to read things like the following articles posted in my feed this week by former and current employees of Whole Foods;
Oh and ESPECIALLY this one since it affects me and a lot of people I care about….
My point is this – for many years Whole Foods was based on things like being good to their employees, helping the environment and supporting local food and small businesses. They referred to their vendors as “partners in the trade.” They developed groundbreaking vendor partnerships which gave them market advantages and a lot of good will with their business peers. Unlike the banks which are “too big to fail”, sometimes companies become too big to sustain their success – growing to the point where they can’t see their own shoes that got them to the place where they were. Ever seen a brand go down the toilet? It isn’t pretty.
Once you said we were partners. We supported you as such, and were happy to spend our dollars with you. Come back to us Whole Foods – it isn’t too late. We need you now more than ever as part of this movement. Respectfully, your former partners in the trade.