The scene at Zellerbach Hall on the UC Berkeley campus Tuesday night seemed more like a rock concert than a lecture.
§ Whole Foods will start a $30 million venture capital fund to support small producers of artisan products around the globe.
§ Whole Food will create a $10 million fund each year to lend money to local farmers.
§ Whole Foods will start a star rating system to assess how humanely a company treats its animals. It hopes the system will become an industry standard.
§ It will create a similar star system for other products that looks at how a company treats its employees, how it enriches its soil, how it treats the environment. “There is a demand for “Beyond Organic,” and this kind of rating system has the potential to meet that demand,” said Mackey.
§ Whole Foods will go into business with Fair Trade and Rainforest Alliance to offer products with a certification that its producers are paid well.
There was a lot more at the talk, including a disturbing video of animals crowded into pens and led to slaughter without anesthesia. For another view, read Peter Merholz’s description. Click here to link to a webcast of the two-hour event.
Marian Burros has an article today "Is Whole Foods Straying From Its Roots?"