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AUSTIN, Texas -- Whole Foods Market, Inc. said yesterday it has reached a milestone with its new Local Producer Loan Program by administering more than $1 million in low-interest loans.
Loan recipients include small-scale food producers and growers from 12 states. Among their products are agricultural crops, body care products, and artisan foods including nut butters, ice cream, granolas, and cheeses.
Whole Foods Market's Local Producer Loan Program aims to strengthen the company's partnership with independent and small-scale local growers and food artisans. The company has committed $10 million annually to these low-interest loans. Loan recipients must meet Whole Foods' quality standards, use the funds for expansion, and have a viable business plan. Loan amounts are between $1,000 and $100,000 with low, fixed interest rates currently between 5 percent and 9 percent.