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BOULDER, Colo., AUSTIN, Texas - It may not be surprising that natural and organic foods retailers Wild Oats Markets, Inc. and Whole Foods Market have been included in the Corporate Responsibility Officer magazine (published by Business Ethics) annual "100 Best Corporate Citizens" list for 2007.
What might be considered surprising, however, is that no other supermarket chains made the list, especially since many grocers say they are so focused on the communities they serve. In addition, only a handful of other food and beverage companies made the ranks - including PepsiCo. Inc., Starbucks Coffee Co., and General Mills.
Wild Oats and Whole Foods ranked 59 and 54, respectively, on the list. According to the magazine, the ranking is based on quantitative measures of corporate service in eight "stakeholder" areas: shareholders, community, governance, diversity, employees, environment, human rights, and product.
Wild Oats boasted of its inclusion in a company release. "Since our beginning in 1987, Wild Oats has been committed to products, education, and practices that promote the health and well being of our customers, our employees, and our communities," said Greg Mays, chairman and c.e.o. of Wild Oats.
The chain said it supports non-profit, local, and national organizations that promote sustainable agriculture, education, environmental preservation, hunger relief, and animal welfare. Through paid volunteer time, food donations, and monetary gifts, Wild Oats said it donates more than $2 million annually to these organizations.