For those that don't know, last year the FTC tried to stop the merger of WF and Wild Oats citing anti-trust rules. It was ridiculous. Natural Food stores are such a small part of grocery it's amazing they even took notice. Well, the courts wouldn't cooperate and the merger went through.
Now, a year later, merger almost done, an appeals court reversed the decision and the case has been reopened. John Stossel did a great story on it recently:
Yes, Whole Foods is big if you compare it to only Natural Food stores. But that's not their only competition. All grocers, including Wal-Mart are carrying natural and Organic foods. Whole Foods is much more worried about the big-box stores than other Natural Food stores. The best way for them to compete is to consolidate Natural Food stores to gain more size and purchasing power.
Now, on a fundamental level, any of this large-scale growth seems to complicate the all-important mission of supporting Local food. Local food, from small farmers, hardly fits into mega-distribution systems. A different system needs to be created to handle and support them. It's a very difficult proposition. Here at Greenling we think we have part of the answer. To best support small, local farms we as consumers cannot just expect them to grow their food and put it on a shelf in the hopes that we buy it. There are all sorts of problems with this I won't get into. We, as consumers, need to commit to these farms and trust them. Well over 1000 people do that through Greenling's Local Box.
Working directly with farmers and directly with consumers shortens the supply chain and allows us to better support the farms while bringing you fresher, healthier Local food.