Whole Foods Market, Inc.
John Mackey founded Whole Foods Market, Inc. in 1980 and the company headquarters are in Austin, Texas. John began with one store and nineteen employees. Whole Foods Market, Inc. is now a leading grocery store chain that sells natural and organically grown products throughout the United States and overseas.
Their mission and culture is as follows:
Mission: “We believe that companies, like individuals, must assume their share of responsibility as tenants of Planet Earth. We actively support organic farming, the best method for promoting sustainable agriculture and protecting farm workers and the environment. We also aim to protect the environment by supporting alternative sources of energy and by recycling or composting our waste. We are actively involved in our communities by supporting food banks, sponsoring neighborhood events, and contributing at least 5% of total net profits to not-for-profit organizations. Our vision of a sustainable future means our children and grandchildren will be living in a world that values human creativity, diversity, and individual choice. Our whole business is about making a difference – in the lives of our team members and the customers we serve, and in the communities and environments in which we operate. Our philosophy is to satisfy and delight our customers – and to support team member happiness and excellence.” http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com (2013)
In this paper, we will examine the impact the extreme corporate growth and expansions has had on the company. The growth of the company has caused management to stray from its original vision and mission. These changes have become the focus of much controversy today.
Whole Foods Market, Inc.
Whole Foods Market, Inc. became the first national “certified organic” grocer in 2003. This company practically created the modern market for organic foods. WFM requires suppliers to treat farm animals humanely. The company has supported the Fair Trade movement, going green, and has a more democratic workplace than most any other organization of its size. Many believe the company is changing.
Whole Foods Market was committed to being the best in the world and is in fact the world’s leader in natural and organic foods, with more than 270 stores in North America and the United Kingdom. Whole Foods Market differentiated itself by its prices compared to other organic food stores, its programs that cared about the community and environment, their support for team member happiness, and creating a win-win partnership with suppliers. These are the challenges that Whole Foods faces in becoming a better company. Within these differences of the company are the challenges that ensnare at the same time.
Some of company’s actions have become controversial and have many concerned that they have come to a point where they have lost their original focus. As the Texas Observer put it, "People shop at Whole Foods not just because it offers organic produce and natural foods, but because it claims to run its business in a way that demonstrates a genuine concern for the community, the environment, and the 'whole planet,' in the words of its motto. In reality, Whole Foods has gone on a corporate feeding frenzy in recent years, swallowing rival retailers across the country.... The expansion is driven by a simple and lucrative business strategy: high prices and low wages." Bates, (1998) This and more is a controversial issue that has brought concerns in which some believe that Whole Foods Market organizational behavior is straying from its original mission and vision.
Due to the aggressive monopolization strategy of WFM, independent co-ops throughout the country no longer exist, most of which WFM bought out. WFM has purchased many competitors’ and are getting close to having a monopoly in the natural foods sales business. Most believe...
References: Against the Wind Ranch, (2010), http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=119099537379&topic=11627
Bates, Eric (1998), Texas Observer, Minding the Store, http://www.organicconsumers.org/Corp/wholefood.htm
Baue, Bill, (2006), Social Funds, Shareowner Action on Product Toxicity Shifts from Isolated Resolutions to Become a Campaign, http://www.socialfunds.com/news/article.cgi/1924.html
Baue, Bill, (2006), Social Funds, Whole Foods Market Gags Shareowners at Annual Meeting, http://www.socialfunds.com/news/article.cgi/article1951.html
Green America, (2011), Responsible Shopper: Whole Foods, http://www.greenamerica.org/programs/responsibleshopper
Harris, Mark T. (2006), Common Dreams, Welcome to 'Whole-Mart ': Rotten Apples in the Social Responsibility Industry, http://www.commondreams.org/
New Seasons Market (2008 blog), We 're just trying to mind our own (local) business, http://newseasonsmarket.blogspot.com/2008/11/were-just-trying-to-mind-our-own-lo cal.html
NOSB Committee, (2011), http://www.ams.usda.gov
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