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Whole Foods Market is showing its dedication to expand availability of local products with a low-interest $60,000 loan to Sonoma, Calif.-based St. Benoit Yogurt through the organic grocer's Local Producer Loan Program. The loan program makes $10 million available annually for low-interest loans to small, community-based food producers.
"The Whole Foods Market Local Producer Loan Program was created to assist artisan producers like St. Benoit and it will have a huge impact on their business," said Harv Singh, local product forager for Whole Foods Market Northern California. "This loan will allow them to increase production and offer their products to Whole Foods Market customers in regions beyond Northern California."
St. Benoit will use the loan to restore an old milking parlor, located on a dairy farm in Petaluma, and turn it into an artisan yogurt making room. St. Benoit sources all its organic Jersey milk from the dairy farm so this improvement will increase production from 90 gallons of milk daily to 250 gallons.
Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods has more than 270 in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.