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February 23, 2010

Comments

Ashleigh

I'm a Wal-Mart shopper, but have a love/hate relationship with them. Food, Inc. highlighted Wal-Mart's buying power for organic farmers as well.

I think all in all, it's an education issue. When I learned how high the hormone levels were in mass produced milk, I switched to organic for my kids. But when I first switched, Wal-Mart only carried Horizon organic milk. So that was my only option. But a year or so ago they started producing Great Value (their store brand) organic milk - which is a tad cheaper and now my staple.

I think once people understand the benefits of not just organic, but LOCALLY produced food, they would switch - ESPECIALLY if it was affordable. And affordability is Wal-Mart's specialty.

I'm glad to know they are funding these initiatives. Makes me feel like my Great Value purchases are more than just cost savers for me, but a vote for local foods.

Stacey

Thank you for posting this interesting article. My hometown got taken over by Wal-Mart several years ago and has never recovered from it (local businesses shut down, down-town died). I am proud to say that i haven't stepped foot in a Wal-Mart in over 3 years. It should be interesting to see if Wal-Mart leads the way in retail towards buying local foods.

I hope that perhaps they will start looking at other business practices of theirs in the same light as food. They are, after all, one of the main reasons why lots of factories that paid good wages & benefits to people in this country closed down. There is a high price for cheap goods. There are major justice and ethical issues that Wal-Mart (and other large companies) need to face and change.

Deb W

Some larger companies get labeled with the "Greenwashing" title (talking the talk and not walking the walk when it comes to sustainability, in order to increase their market share). Initially, most people in the produce industry (where I used to be a sustainability SME)put Wal-Mart in this "Greenwashing" category. However, over some time and the efforts of Ron McCormick, their sustainability efforts truly are the real deal. Case study after case study shows that Wal-Mart has moved to the forefront of the industry's sustainability movement -- in every area -- from their operations (lighting, refrigeration, waste management, etc.) to the growers (local farmers and promoting sustainable agricultural practices), to transportation modes, to full implementation of tracebility (an essential component to food safety) and so forth.

While I do believe that Wal-Mart's corporate arm is sincere about their relatively newfound emphasis on sustainability, they do still have a long way to go in the area of public perception if their efforts will be considered holistically and authentically true.
Thanks for posting this!

KS

My local Walmart (in Southern California) doesn't carry fresh produce; if it did, I probably would buy produce there. The fresh produce at Whole Foods is relatively expensive, but I enjoy shopping there and I agreed with CEO John Mackey's views on the Obama health care proposals.

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