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Author Topic: Will Walmart, not Whole Foods, save small farms and make U.S. healthy?  (Read 2751 times)
LyricFox
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« Topic Start: March 26, 2010, 05:52:15 pm »

I wasn't really sure where to put this one.

The great grocery smackdown
Will Walmart, not Whole Foods, save small farms and make U.S. healthy?

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36009723/ns/business-retail/
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« Reply #1: March 26, 2010, 08:00:01 pm »

I wasn't really sure where to put this one.

The great grocery smackdown
Will Walmart, not Whole Foods, save small farms and make U.S. healthy?

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36009723/ns/business-retail/

Without even reading the article, I am going to say flatly no.  Actually, neither one of them will.  Whole Foods is ridiculously upscale and expensive.  To Walmart, nothing is more important than the bottom line, and if if means pushing local farmers to feed antibiotics, over-fertilize, etc. they will do it.

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« Reply #2: March 26, 2010, 08:43:10 pm »

I wasn't really sure where to put this one.

The great grocery smackdown
Will Walmart, not Whole Foods, save small farms and make U.S. healthy?

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36009723/ns/business-retail/

The link's not working for me anymore--here's where I found the story:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36009723/ns/business-oil_and_energy/
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« Reply #3: March 26, 2010, 09:00:15 pm »

Without even reading the article, I am going to say flatly no.  Actually, neither one of them will.  Whole Foods is ridiculously upscale and expensive.  To Walmart, nothing is more important than the bottom line, and if if means pushing local farmers to feed antibiotics, over-fertilize, etc. they will do it.

The article doesn't really address this as such.  It talks solely about Wal-Mart working with local farmers--essentially, they've realized that people want and will buy local food, and thus it's in Wally World's interest to provide local food.  It comes out looking pretty positive for Wal-Mart, though, which is cited as selling the exact same local apples that Whole Foods does in the author's local stores and working with various agencies to help develop a local-sourcing solution for produce rather than truck in stuff from halfway across the country.

I caught part of a piece about this article on NPR, though, and it was a bit different in tone.  It sounded like there was some concern that local farmers were being drawn in by what looks like a good idea at the time--basically, if they can provide product at equal or lower cost to what the store would pay for stuff trucked across the country, and they're within a day's drive, Wal-Mart will buy from them.  The thing is, though, the price that is initially negotiated might be negotiated down just a little after a while, and then down a little more later, and pretty quickly the local guy is down to making pretty much no money, but fearing to pull out because he'll lose the sales.  If I heard right, it sounded like this was the voice of experience speaking and not speculation.

I only heard part of that story, though, so I don't know what I might have missed.  But it sounded like a case of "sounds good on the surface and will be good publicity for the company, but ultimately not that big of an improvement" to me.  My other thought on the issue was:  Groceries are only a part of what Wal-Mart sells.  Even if they're perfect angels of encouragement toward local farmers, there's still an awful lot of room for them to continue being jerkoffs to everyone else.  (Especially when you consider how many groceries, even, cannot possibly be local in any given location.  Even our co-op doesn't manage to keep it all-local by a long shot, and they really are trying.)
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« Reply #4: March 26, 2010, 10:16:53 pm »

I caught part of a piece about this article on NPR, though, and it was a bit different in tone.  It sounded like there was some concern that local farmers were being drawn in by what looks like a good idea at the time--basically, if they can provide product at equal or lower cost to what the store would pay for stuff trucked across the country, and they're within a day's drive, Wal-Mart will buy from them.  The thing is, though, the price that is initially negotiated might be negotiated down just a little after a while, and then down a little more later, and pretty quickly the local guy is down to making pretty much no money, but fearing to pull out because he'll lose the sales.  If I heard right, it sounded like this was the voice of experience speaking and not speculation.

According to what I've read, this is usually how Walmart works. They put constant pressure on supplies to do more (for Walmart) for less.
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« Reply #5: March 26, 2010, 10:22:52 pm »

I wasn't really sure where to put this one.

The great grocery smackdown
Will Walmart, not Whole Foods, save small farms and make U.S. healthy?

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36009723/ns/business-retail/

Wal mart has the ability to save small farms (I've never lived in a city that didn't have at least 3 Wal Marts) but as Sperran stated, all they care about is money...

As for Whole Foods the closest one to me is 127 miles.... I'd rather just buy my produce from the farmers that sell out of the back of their trucks on the side of the road thank you very much.

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