Inside This Issue - News
Local suppliers aided by Whole Foods
January 13th, 2014
AUSTIN, Texas – Whole Foods Market Inc. has achieved its initial goal of funding $10 million in low-interest loans to local and independent food businesses. The company has also committed up to $25 million in funding.
Whole Foods’ Local Producer Loan Program has now provided 184 loans to 155 companies since its start in 2007. The program has supported pioneering projects in biodynamic farming, non-GMO animal feed, pollinator health and sustainable packaging.
The loans, which offer fixed low interest rates, have typically ranged from $1,000 to $100,000, and have been used for such purposes as investing in new equipment or converting to organic production.
"Expanding the Local Producer Loan Program is a direct result of the innovations and successes of our loan recipients," says Betsy Foster, global vice president of growth and business development for Whole Foods. "By playing a role in advancing new ideas, growing businesses and realizing dreams, Whole Foods Market stays connected with both our neighborhood producers and our global food community."
While some of the loan recipients, including organic vegetable farmers, grass-fed cattle ranchers and natural body care producers, supply products to Whole Foods, several others are businesses that support the natural food industry. Recipients include 43 companies owned by women and an additional 36 that are co-owned by women.