Wholefood is a well known and admire American company that is dedicated to selling organic and ethical products. The company has come a long way from its humble beginning and it is now worth $8 billion and is the 30th largest retailer in America. It’s CEO, John Mackey as built the brand around the idea of “Conscious capitalism,” empathizing sustainability and accountability. However WF has recently come under-fire after a viral picture of Asparagus water was being sold for $5.99 (figure 1). This isn’t a fancy name for an organic new product; it was literally a clear bottom with a stalk of asparagus.
No surprise that the image that WF has been trying to rid its self of “wholefoods, Whole paycheck” returned to many people’s mind. In 2010 WF was fined $800,000 for over 800 violations from pricing of products to incorrect information. Theses practices allowed WF to charge more for some products. Essentially there are many misconceptions about what the word organic mean. Many will be surprised that the organic industry does use pesticides and other toxic chemical, albeit in lesser amounts, but it is still used.
I want to question the authenticity of in-house rating systems. The industry is still split on what the words organic, vital farming and ethical mean. Yet, it hasn’t deterred WF from heavily using these words to separate themselves from competitors as the better/ more socially conscious alternative. By using unsubstantiated claims WF is leading the organic food industry and making a staggering profits. Should socially conscious brands be able to have uncontrolled reign on prices and should there be more transparency of what organic pricing.