Whole Foods is at it again and I, for one couldn't be happier!
As the world's largest retailer of natural and organic foods, Whole Foods has built a formidable reputation on providing quality goods and services. Though their prices may not be competitive with other natural markets (they've been referred to as "whole paycheck"), they have consistently set the standard in the industry for innovation.
Whole Foods has recently announced that they are implementing a new rating system for cleaning products. This announcement is on the back of last years decision wherein all Body/Personal Care products sold in Whole Foods must be USDA or NOP certified organic to use the term "organic" on product labels.
The new rating system will subject all cleaners sold in Whole Foods to undergo third party testing to determine not only transparency in labeling (to ensure all ingredients in the product are listed on the label), but also that cleaning products do not contain ingredients with “significant environmental or safety concerns, such as phosphates, chlorine, or preservatives that have the potential to release formaldehyde.’’
Jim Spears, the global vice president of procurement said in a recent Boston Globe article:
"Whole Foods has always had standards for its cleaning products, such as no animal testing. But over time, officials have become frustrated by a lack of transparency when it comes to products’ ingredients
So Whole Foods decided to “put a stake in the ground,’’ Speirs said. “People should have a right to know what they’re buying and know every ingredient,’’ he said. “People already think that it’s happening, and it’s not.’"
The new rating system will require all cleaning product vendors to meet their "Orange Standard" by Earth Day 2012. Whole Foods will color categorize all cleaning products based on multiple factors in Orange, Yellow and Green categories.
Orange rated products must meet these criteria:
No ingredients with significant environmental or safety concerns, such as phosphates, chlorine, or preservatives that have the potential to release formaldehyde
No artificial colors
No animal testing
Yellow rated products must meet all of the orange as well as these criteria:
No ingredients with moderate environmental or safety concerns, such as DEA, TEA or MEA surfactants (surface acting agents that can act as foaming agents) that have the potential to contain nitrosamines and other impurities
No synthetic thickeners made from non-renewable petroleum-derived sources
100 percent natural fragrances
Green rated products (the highest standard):
must meet all the orange and yellow criteria, and also contain only 100 percent natural ingredients with no petroleum-derived ingredients.
It is this bloggers hope that Whole Foods will continue to set the standard for the natural and organic industry. Like everyone, I want to trust labels and I applaud Whole Foods' effort to simplify the overwhelming world of product labeling by demanding truth and transparency in labeling from their vendors!
To read The Boston Globe article in full please click here
to read a related article also quoted above from MatteRNetwork please click here