Earlier this year, Whole Foods CEO addressed an audience in Palm Beach County. "Whole Foods co-CEO Walter Robb said at Lynn University Wednesday that business can be the “greatest change agent” in society. Robb said the 33-year-old company practices “conscious capitalism” and has always wanted to contribute to the community and protect the environment, but has expanded its core values in recent years… We are purpose-driven,” Robb said, according to the Palm Beach Post. "We are here to make a difference in the world. We are willing to stretch, willing to take a risk."
The Friends' letter, in part, states:
"The byproducts of sugarcane cultivation on 700,000 acres in the EAA are highly damaging to the Everglades ecosystem. Soil used to produce sugar in the Everglades Agricultural Area has not been conserved. It is severely depleted. Water management practices – influenced by industry -- have been the subject of federal lawsuits by environmental groups. If the industry does “promote healthy ecosystems”, it is only to the degree required by the results of litigation. ... Although Florida’s sugar producers could implement effective BMP’s (best management practices), for instance by drastically limiting soil amendments that promote methyl mercury in the Everglades, instead it protects its privilege by externalizing these costs."
Although there are many reasons to object -- including the trillion dollar public health cost associated with excess consumption of sugar and the gross excess of the Farm Bill that enriches some of the wealthiest corporate farmers in America -- this campaign is about Whole Foods, a respected corporation that has built a billion dollar franchise on a promise to consumers that its products are driven by core values.
There has been no response yet by Whole Foods to the Friends' request. Click 'read more' for the text of the Palm Beach Post report.