Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Building Upon Shared Value: Whole Foods

In Creating Shared Value, Michael Porter and Mark Kramer proposed reinventing Capitalism by bringing business and society together. Businesses should create economic value that also creates value for society (Kramer et al). Whole Foods Market is one such company that has been growing exponentially, because it was able to create shared value. Whole Foods created shared value through reconceiving products and markets, redefining productivity in the value chain, and enabling local cluster development.

Whole Foods reconceived products and markets by providing a space for quality organic food. One of the core values of Whole Foods is to only sell natural and organic products of the highest quality (Whole Foods). Another core value is to satisfy and nourish its customers with high quality products, good customer service, and competitive price (Whole Foods). These two core values of Whole Foods appeal to its customers, because the market is meeting a societal need for better quality products, which creates shared value. Other than selling produce, Whole Foods continues to explore other avenues that can create shared values. Whole Foods also started carrying beauty products and clothing lines that are align with its mission to providing high quality products that are good for the customers.

Another way Whole Foods create shared value is through redefining productivity in the value chain, specifically in resource use, procurement, and employee productivity. One of Whole Foods mission is environmental stewardship, in which the stores take initiative in reduce, reuse, and recycle materials (Whole Foods). The reduction in wastes fosters an environment that encourages its consumers to be green as well. Another initiative that Whole Foods pioneered is working with local producers. The company is committed to ethical trading and supports its local suppliers (Whole Foods). By sourcing from local producers, Whole Foods is able to achieve a decrease in carbon footprint as well as support the local economy; all of which decreases costs and generates shared values. Lastly, Whole Foods strives to create an environment for its employees to flourish and succeed to their highest potentials (Whole Foods). This environment gave the employees a strong sense of responsibility and encourages employee productivity.

Whole Foods also creates shared value by enabling local cluster development. Other than sourcing from local suppliers to support the local economy, it also encourages local suppliers to grow its business. The local producer loan program gives up to $25 million low-interest loans to independent local farmers and food artisans (Whole Foods). This program drives regional economy development, productivity, and competitiveness. It allows for small businesses to have a chance to innovate and develop local products.

Whole Foods has been founded upon the core values of promoting healthy products and giving back. With these core values, the company is able to create shared value that benefits both the business and the society.


"Mission & Values." Whole Foods Market. Web. 9 Dec. 2015. 

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