Saturday, July 14, 2007
Reason #3 to buy from farmers markets
I went to the local farmers market this morning and as I was buying my produce I learned something new. One of the sellers/farmers was commenting that Whole Foods had become very difficult to deal with as a seller. She said that for a while she was selling her produce to Whole Foods as a local purchasing agent would visit her farm and then buy what they needed. She said that that has since changed and now the only purchasing agent is in Atlanta and he is the only one that you can get a purchase order from. She said that after trying to call him six times, he finally answered her calls and then told her she had to take her produce to a warehouse about 10 miles away, she could not directly deliver the food to the supermarket. She was also told she had to deliver the food between 3 AM and 5 AM and when she got to the warehouse, she had to unload and stack all her own stuff separating it for each separate store. She then also had to shrink wrap the stuff and individually invoice each store. This is a small farm, it is just her and her husband and she felt like it had become too much of a hassle for them to try and deal with Whole Foods. Now this may have been just one farmer's experience with Whole Foods and may not be representative of all Whole Foods, but I still find this disturbing. Whole Foods says they want to support the local farmer and yet the methods that farmers have to go through to get their produce into the market seems to discourage small farmers from selling their produce to Whole Foods. This serves to again encourage corporate farms and discourage the small family farms. I still think that Whole Foods is a great alternative to probably any other supermarket, but am not convinced that it is the great supporter of the local farms like they claim.
Posted by joshhill1021 at 11:31 AM