Whole Food's CEO loans peek into sustainable business decisions

by / Friday, 15 March 2013 / Published in Green Business

A Whole Foods Market in Austin, Texas. Image by That Other Paper on Flikr.

Last month Steve Forbes sat down with John Mackey Whole Foods Market‘s founder and co-CEO. In the 40-minute interview (video and transcript are posted on the Forbes website) the eccentric leader spoke passionately about sustainability in nature and business, he explained ideas from his new book “Conscious Capitalism” and he defended controversial remarks he had made about ObamaCare.

In one passage Mackey uses the story of cod at Whole Foods Market to illustrate how capitalism and green ethics collide in his business to everyone’s benefit. Mackey tells Forbes,

“Cod is a great example because cod used to be the most ubiquitous fish in the western hemisphere. The whole New England fishing industry, and the Canadian fishing industry were built around cod. But now cod stocks have dropped 95%. The fishery sustainability had collapsed. So, anyway, Whole Foods Market realized this was a problem, and we partnered with some nonprofits. The Blue Ocean Institute on the east coast, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium on the west coast, along with our longtime partnership with the Marine Stewardship Council.”

He goes to explain that his team found a single “sustainable cod fishery” that can meet Whole Foods strict guidelines for what can appear in its stores.

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