LAST week, in Austin, the capital of Texas, I had an opportunity to meet Whole Foods’ marketing manager Richard Gabaree at the company’s foundation and flagship store. Whole Foods is the world’s largest natural and organic food retailer. My companion couldn’t resist asking Richard for a photograph of the pair of us with some organic Granny Smith apples from the central Austin store’s amazing fruit and vegetable display.
The provenance of food – who grows it, how it’s grown and where it comes from – is as important to Whole Foods as it is to us at Granny Smith. In every department at Whole Foods the staff could tell us the origin of food, from fish to coffee. In the butchery and at the cheese counter, staff proudly told us who produced the lamb or goat chevre that they were offering. The visit reinforced our philosophy that we should spare no effort to ensure that the food we market keeps its identity. If we can achieve that then we’re always reminded of the link between farm and table when we shop for food. It’s the reason we’re always stocking and supporting the promotion of foods like heirloom apples from Orange.