July 30, 2008

Whole Foods Market(R) Sponsors Slow Food Nation 2008

EMERYVILLE, Calif., July 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Whole Foods Market, the world's leading natural and organic foods supermarket and America's first certified organic retailer, proudly announces its sponsorship of Slow Food Nation 2008, the largest celebration of food in the nation. Specifically, Whole Foods Market will be the lead sponsor of the Taste Pavilions -- Slow Food Nation's grand celebration of good, clean and fair food, featuring 15 individual pavilions showcasing the country's best cheese, bread, wine, charcuterie, coffee, chocolate, ice cream, pickles and chutneys, honey and preserves, and much more.

"We are proud to lend our support to Slow Food Nation. We share a common desire to unite America's growing sustainable food movement and introduce a wide spectrum of people to food that is produced safely and grown in a sustainable manner," said Walter Robb, co-president chief operating officer of Whole Foods Market. "We hope to empower people to lead a slow food lifestyle by offering a diverse selection of community-grown produce and handcrafted foods in our stores."

Slow Food Nation, which will take place in San Francisco over Labor Day weekend (Aug. 29 - Sept. 1), will bring together tens of thousands of food enthusiasts to experience an extraordinary range of activities highlighting the connection between plate and planet. In addition to experiencing the Taste Pavilions, participants will meet more than 60 California farmers at a marketplace surrounding the newly planted Slow Food Nation Victory Garden in the heart of San Francisco, and learn from visionary speakers who will engage citizens in political discourse about shaping a more sustainable food system. Slow Food Nation also will feature a music festival, workshops, films, dinners, hikes and excursions around the city.

More than one-quarter of local food producers whose products are featured at Slow Food Nation sell their products at Whole Foods Market stores in Northern California. This includes farmers and food artisans for locally grown, sustainably produced foods such as St. Benoit Yogurt (French-style yogurt producer in Bodega, Calif.), Full Belly Farm (200-acre organic farm in Capay Valley, Calif.) and Massa Organics (family farm growing organic brown rice in Chico, Calif.).

"At Slow Food Nation, we are hoping to create a life-changing experience for participants that will encourage a shift in how people shop, cook and eat," said Anya Fernald, executive director of Slow Food Nation. "Partnering with Whole Foods Market is a natural fit to help broaden the impact of our message."

Whole Foods Market will be involved in many aspects of Slow Food Nation, including:

-- Offering 1,600 discounted tickets for the Sunday Afternoon Taste Pavilion (Aug. 31, 5 to 9 p.m.). Tickets, which cost $58 (10 percent off retail price), will be sold at all 24 Whole Foods Market stores in Northern California. Whole Foods Market is the only retailer to sell hard-copy tickets and offer this discount. For a list of stores, visit: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/.

-- Hosting two Slow Dinners to benefit the Center for Food and Justice. Both dinners will be held at the Whole Foods Market store in Potrero Hill (450 Rhode Island and 17th Street). Tickets are available by calling (415) 552-1155.

-- Hosting two workshops at Fort Mason Center. Tickets are available for purchase at http://www.slowfoodnation.org/.

-- Volunteering dozens of Whole Foods Market Team Members to answer visitors' questions about sustainable agriculture, organic products and prepared foods.

-- Supporting the Slow Food Nation Victory Garden with volunteers and catering at the Community Planting and Harvest Days. All food grown in the garden will be harvested and donated to Bay Area food banks and meals programs that have limited access to healthy organic produce.

About Whole Foods Market(R)

Founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market (http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/) is the world's leading natural and organic foods supermarket and America's first national certified organic grocer. In fiscal year 2007, the company had sales of $6.6 billion and currently has more than 270 stores in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The Whole Foods Market motto, "Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet"(TM) captures the company's mission to find success in customer satisfaction and wellness, employee excellence and happiness, enhanced shareholder value, community support and environmental improvement. Whole Foods Market, Fresh & Wild(TM), and Harry's Farmers Market(R) are trademarks owned by Whole Foods Market IP, LP. Wild Oats(R) and Capers Community Market(TM) are trademarks owned by Wild Marks, Inc. Whole Foods Market employs more than 53,000 Team Members and has been ranked for 11 consecutive years as one of the "100 Best Companies to Work For" in America by FORTUNE magazine.

    Media Contact:    Vanessa Cornish 510.428.7054    [email protected]  

Whole Foods Market

CONTACT: Vanessa Cornish of Whole Foods Market, +1-510-428-7054,[email protected]

Web site: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/http://www.slowfoodnation.org/