John Mackey told MTJ that despite widespread reports of a shortage of British organic beef, Whole Foods Market had secured a supply. "There are many very small producers that haven't really had a market because the multiples are so big and their production is so small," he said.
"It hasn't necessarily been easy, but we found an un-met demand in many, many small producers, who haven't really had a market to sell to and we're forming really good relationships with them."
Mackey has been in London to launch the Whole Foods Market store in High Street Kensington and to give a Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) lecture on his company and the development of a five-step animal welfare labelling system for meat.
Step one is a minimum standard, step three indicates that the animal has been reared outdoors and step five products come from farming systems with extremely high welfare, including on-farm slaughter to avoid the stress of transport to an abattoir. Step four and step five products are organic.
Mackey said the Kensington store had secured step four for all lamb, chicken, beef and pork and step three for all ducks and veal. The company will source 95% of its meat from British farmers.