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Update on Whole Foods campaign and their selling of factory farmed duck meat

November 2002

Viva! began our duck meat campaign in September of 2000. We soon discovered that Whole Foods was carrying duck meat from a number of factory farms we had investigated.

In March of 2001, a Viva! representative attended the Whole Foods’ shareholders meeting in New York City. As a result, Whole Foods said they would no longer purchase duck meat from Maple Leaf Farms or their subsidiary, Woodland Farms.

However, Whole Foods decided to continue selling duck meat from Grimaud Farms (please see our photo gallery for images inside Grimaud Farms), despite concrete evidence of the cruel conditions at Grimaud. Viva! provided Whole Foods with documentation on the trauma caused by bill trimming as well as the need for the ducks (muscovies) to have water. Whole Foods contended otherwise.

Viva! then began a specific campaign aimed at educating Whole Foods’ customers about the cruel conditions of Grimaud Farms. Viva! has also repeatedly asked Whole Foods to stop doing business with Grimaud due to the animal welfare concerns.

In December of 2001, PeTA decided it wanted to work with Whole Foods to help improve the miserable conditions of the farms with which Whole Foods does business. PeTA gave Whole Foods a deadline of July 1st to make changes for the ducks at Grimaud Farms.

That day has passed and nothing has changed for these animals.

In mid-July, activists visited Grimaud Farms for a third time and confirmed that conditions on the farm remain the same: ducks are still being debilled and they are deprived of all but the most minimal contact with water.

On July 24, 2002, both PeTA and Viva!USA once again wrote Whole Foods to express our dismay at the situation.

Whole Foods did eventually respond to PeTA and submitted to them a review done by Joy Mench at UC Davis on her observations of Grimaud Farms in California.

On November 7, 2002 Viva! faxed a letter to Whole Foods and sent them 2 critiques by veterinarians of Joy Mench's write-up.

As of this time, no changes have been made. PeTA has created a website: Wholefoodshurtsanimals.com. Viva!USA still has leaflets exposing the conditions of Grimaud Farms, tailored toward Whole Foods’ customers. If you would like to distribute these, please contact us at orders@vivausa.org and let us know how many to send (remember to include your address!).

And of course, don’t forget to contact Whole Foods directly.

John Mackey,
CEO/Founder Whole Foods
601 N. Lamar Blvd.,
Suite 300 Austin,
TX 78703 512/477-4455
rs.team@wholefoods.com