Whole Foods Makes Loans to Help Local Producers

Whole Foods Makes Loans to Help Local Producers

Food & Drink

Whole Foods Makes Loans to Help Local Producers


By Cari Martens

Whole Foods Market, the world’s largest retailer of natural and organic foods, probably never envisioned branching out as a loan company.

But, since 2007, Whole Foods has been lending money to mostly small, local food producers that would otherwise have a hard time staying in business. Its Whole Foods Market Local Producer Loan Program is especially timely with the economy in the doldrums and credit squeezed to the breaking point.

To date, the grocery chain has loaned more than $2.5 million, according to a story by Sarah Terry-Cobo on GreenBiz.com.

Jenny Brown, the program administrator, says Whole Foods is committed to fund up to $10 million. She told Terry-Cobo ‘Our local producers are part of what customers say they value a lot; and they are very valuable to us.’

Terms vary with each individual loan, but the interest rates average around six percent, Brown says. Unlike traditional loans, Whole Foods charges no closing fees, no fees for early repayment, and no application fees. Maximum loan amount is $100,000, but there is no loan minimum.

Whole Foods has loaned funds to producers of such products as organic ice cream, vegan granola snacks, pasta sauce, honey, and grass-fed beef.

Spokespersons for Whole Foods say that, as far as they can tell, they’re the only retailer offering this kind of service.

But as the economy continues to struggle, we may see more collaboration of this nature. It’s something to keep an eye on.

For more insights and innovations check out neemee.com, the place to go for the latest observations in the World Thought Bank – events, ideas, trends and more. Add your own thoughts about anything in life – entertainment, design, technology, well-being and, yes, food. And, take a look at a few of our other Hot & Cool Trends.

Have you seen an innovative product that will make our food lives more fun in the future? Let us know at Editor.


20 Sep 22

If you haven’t had pumpkin soup, you are missing a delightful dining experience. This savory soup is ideal for one of those first (…)

28 Aug 22

Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonette of Little Donkey in Cambridge, Massachusetts, add miso to their addictive banana bread to give it a (…)

More TFC