Whole Foods Changes “Responsibly Grown” Labeling

Yesterday, CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers) and Whole Foods Market announced that the retailer’s new Responsibly Grown rating system will soon be adjusted to better recognize USDA’s certified organic growing system. The statement is a direct response to the  June 23, 2015,  letter to Whole Foods CEO John Mackey by a coalition of Whole Foods organic farmer-suppliers, concerned organic farmers, and agricultural and environmental organizations− including OSGATA.

In the letter, the farmers objected  to how the rating system deals with organic products. One major concern regarded the scoring of organic: the USDA certification equated to only 10 of 300 possible points for produce within Whole Foods’ 7-tier system. This lead to the possibility of conventionally grown produce ranking at the “Best” level, above certified organic produce. With the rating system’s revision, all certified organic produce and flowers will automatically be awarded a minimum “Good” rating in Whole Foods Market stores until January 1, 2016. This window is to allow certified organic growers more time to start or resume Responsibly Grown compliance efforts.

Other changes are expected over time, with grower meetings and forums held as part of the revision process.


Learn more here.






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