Whole Foods unveils initiatives to boost local and compassionate farming

Whole Foods Market, the fast-growing natural-foods purveyor, has announced a series of initiatives that would support small, local farms and improve treatment of animals. In an open letter to food writer Michael Pollan, who has criticized Whole Foods for relying on “industrial organic” farms, CEO John Mackey described the chain’s coming efforts to build a network of “animal-compassionate” farms, purchase more local food for its distribution centers, and even allow local farmers to sell food directly to customers in store parking lots.