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Theoretical Background


Discuss About The Organic Agriculture Statistics And Trends?

Food industry is one of such industries, which has become a curious discussion to mass public. Common people across the globe are aware of the benefits and the harmfulness of the foods they intake to some extent. This has become possible because of lots of discussions on the food related facts on the different websites, in newspapers and in the local government circulars across the globe (Naujokas et al. 2013, p.295). It has also become a much talked topic because of the effect that it produces on mass people. People across the globe are now suffering of some most major diseases such as obesity. Unhealthy foods are thought to be the main reason behind the rising cases of obesity across the globe (Sahoo et al. 2015, p.187).

In nowadays, different kinds of chemicals and pesticides are used in cultivating the foods. Farmers use inorganic substances to satisfy the need of high demands of food in no time. However, the used pesticides in the food production have on the other hand affected the naturalness of it in significant number. This is probably the reason behind a comparative lesser health of people than their ancestors have (Rico et al. 2012, p.75-93). Common people are helpless. They have some education on the harmfulness that it causes to the health. However, despite the fact they have to intake such foods. Such helplessness situation has created the much needed platform to some company to occupy on the created chances (Shafie & Rennie 2012, p.360-367). This is because of such reason Whole Foods came into existence. The company aimed at delivering quality and naturally grown foods to the customers.

The main purpose if this assignment is to analyze the business effects of the Whole Foods Company. The company had given strong values to serve the community and become a socially responsible organization. This study also analyses the challenges that might come upfront once a business intend to deliver on social aspects.

Theory of sustainability states that a business should take into account the betterment of all its stakeholders such as employees, customers, environment and the local community (Epstein & Buhovac 2014). Whole Foods is one of few names that have started the business with a mission to serve the community. The company has rightly served its mission by strongly following its core values. It has never used soft drinks such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi in its stores despite of some criticism from the customers regarding the unavailability of the products. The strategic operation of the company’s Co-CEO Walter Robb has helped the company in attaining the success in quick notes. One of such example is the distribution of a fraction of the benefits to all its employees. Employees in fact are treated as like members of the company (Willer & Lernoud 2016, p.1-336).

Challenges and Opportunities of Social Responsibility

However, there are certain issues as well, which has hampered its reputation. Their mission is to provide healthy foods to the customers; however, one of the processes that they use for producing the foods is unhealthy. They follow both the organic and the exotic method to produce the food. The organic method is healthier as it does not require any spill over of inorganic substances. On contrary to this, the exotic method is unhealthy. Additionally, the produced foods are transported by means of vehicles, which cover a long distance to reach to the scheduled destination. It is a very supportive mean of pollution, which means that foods are environment friendly but the processes are not such. Apart from this, some of the products of Whole Foods are found to contain fat or calories. Additionally, they are not labeled with the nutritional values as well. This is both unethical and against the set mission. The major issue is the price, which is offered against the organic foods. The prices are very high and higher than any other products in the store (Smith-Spangler et al. 2012, p.348-366).




·         The political situation in New Zealand is supportive as they have eyed on doubling the figures of international exports of dairy products

·         They are encouraging more irrigation and the storage of water to respond to an unexpected drought

·         The national lead government is interested in enhancing the capability of research works by investing much on the process

·         They are trying to encourage the farmers for a positive production of dairy products

·         Foreign investments are given importance but will be scrutinized for the national interest

·         Dairy products are cheaper in the country

·         People are conscious about healthy foods

·         Millennial groups have passion for dairy products




·         Technology is already in place to enhance the productivity of dairy products and reduce its impact on the environment

·         Technology would be developed to make better decisions and mitigate the risks

·         There are already legal frameworks guiding the production of dairy products

·         Plan is there to make it more competent in following the compliance rules & regulations

·         It is affecting the environment as enhancement of dairy products has adverse effects on the environment

·         Improvement in technology is already in plan to reduce the effect of dairy industry on environment

The above analysis shows that there are ample of opportunities for the Whole Foods Company in New Zealand. Some of the challenges that the company is facing such as the environmental issues, things are expected to be resolved in future as numerous plans are there in the list of plans of the local government of the country.

Industry rivalry-

The competition in the dairy industry is very high.  Fonterra is the leading name, which is a serious threat to the company. Now, many others have entered the industry and enhanced the competition. Whole Foods had to suffer an unexpected competition from industry’s big names such as Walmart, safe way and Kroger Company. These companies have effectively started providing organic foods along with their existing products. Whole Foods has also failed in offering the cheapest pricing for the organic foods, which other companies such as Walmart and Kroger have successfully done. Additionally, Fonterra is the biggest name in the industry, which is another threat for the Whole Foods Company. The company had a tough task to stay competitive against such competitors (Ellickson & Grieco 2013, p.1-14).

Threat of entry-

New Zealand is an open economy and hence the threat of entrants is higher in the country. The expected outcome is very much evident in the form of Walmart, safe way and Kroger Company in New Zealand. They have posed severe challenge to the Whole Foods Company (Lees & Lees 2017, p.1-20).

Industry Analysis

Threat of substitution-

It is also high. Dairy product is made from milk and other natural resources. The changing demands of customer will prompt the different brands that exist in the country for various innovative products in future (Lees & Lees 2017, p.1-20).

Buyer power-

The buyer power in the industry is also very high. This is because people in the country have different tastes, which can vary at any point in time. They are just needed to be educated on the different other products that do not exist in the country (Lees & Lees 2017, p.1-20).  

Supplier power-

It is low as things can be controlled by working closely with the farmers. The adverse effect of the surrounding climate can also be controlled with the help of improved and advance technology (Lees & Lees 2017, p.1-20). 

There are various opportunities that a business creates when its core values are adjoined to the social responsibility. One of such opportunity is the attainment of a separate audience, which might be bigger in size than the normal customers. For example, many customers prefer having organic foods; however, they do not have many options to get their desired foods. Under such circumstances, if a company like Whole Foods comes up with a concept to offer the organic foods, it is bound to get a wider reception from the customers. It was the opportunity that later on drew the attention of other companies like Walmart, Kroger and Safeway. Those companies are getting the benefits that were there in the industry. The number of customers is increasing with passage of days as they are growing in education on heath related facts (Crane, Matten & Spence 2013).

However, opportunities do not stand alone; it is rather accompanies with numerous challenges or responsibilities. One of the challenges is to offer the healthier foods under any circumstances. This is indeed difficult as it is clearly evident in the criticized activity of Whole Foods. The company has offered few such products that have fat and calories in those. Additionally, products were not libeled as well to show its nutritional values. Whole Foods that has strong core values for social responsibility has itself derailed from the organizational mission. Another such example is of Unilever that has acted up against the organizational core values n few significant times. One of such incidents is of mercury exposure in 2006, which affected thousands of workers. It happened due to its exposure to the toxic element ( 2017).


The Co-CEO of Whole Foods Walter Robb believes that it is important to have strong culture in order to stay competitive in the market. This is rightly so because strategies can be easily copied; however, copying a culture requires a huge transformation of existing stage to the desired stage. There are different aspects of the effects of social responsibility on the business practices such as positive and negative. Companies are affected both positively and negatively due to the responsibilities related to the surrounding communities (Farooq et al. 2014, p.563-580). For example, the entrance of Whole Foods in the organic food production after they sensed the potentiality of the concept is a mere example of the positivity that social responsibility has on different organizations across the globe. They capitalized on the created opportunities that came into the existence with the help of numerous articles on websites and various government circulars on health related facts.

On the other hand, it has some negative impacts o the organization as well. For example, Whole Foods have gone through negative faces as well. They have been blamed for offering foods that fat and calories yet they did not label the products with their nutritional values. It is difficult to state the reasons behind such practices; however, it has hampered their reputation significantly. They may have done this to earn more by spending the same. It is really understandable that companies feel pressure due to the responsibilities they carry with those related to the surrounding communities. They are appreciated when they deliver the purest form of foods; however, they are criticized when they reduce the quality of food. Customers have high expectations from them, which is why they expect them to deliver the quality food every time. If companies do not meet up with the set expectations of the customers, they are then criticized for such practices (Wang & Bansal 2012, p.1135-1153).

The Co-CEO of the Whole Foods Company has initiated a program to work closely with the farmers in order to make the farmers realize that they are also a part  of the business and also to get the fresh and healthier foods. This is indeed a good move; however, its direct impact would be very unrealistic. The main reason behind the lagging performance of the company in the competition is the pricing of the organic foods, which is comparatively cheaper in other retailing companies such as Walmart and Kroger. The steps that the Co-CEO has adopted would ensure the production of fresh organic foods, which is very important for gaining back the lost reputation due to little criticism on the food contents. This might also help to enhance the sales figure; however, this might not do wonder in favor of the company as product pricing matters a lot to many customers (Liu & Zhang 2013, p.84-101). Rating producers based on water use, energy consumption and well being workers would help to categorize the different suppliers. This would help the company in identifying the potential supplier but going such way this would also enhance the bargaining power of the selected suppliers. Company would be bound to get their foods from the selected suppliers only, which means they would not do much experiment in getting their required foods. They would rather try to bargain the identified potential suppliers, which further means the company would require to come to a common agreed point. The common agreed point might not be the best according to the company as suppliers might not provide the products on the demanded quotations (Sheu & Gao 2014, p.313-325). Nevertheless, this is never the solution for the pricing competition in between the Whole Foods and the rival companies.

Microsoft is one of few companies that have effectively managed its social responsibilities. It has made the entrance to the company easier to communities, which is evident in its few program. It gives discounts to the students, veterans and the military personnel. It also provides donations and assistance. Such discounted offers and the donations enhance the accessibility rates of the students, veterans and the military personnel with its products. Additionally, the company gives a significant amount as donations to valuable nonprofit organizations. It gives donations to support the programs to support the community by helping the needful and the students in the community. It takes care of their education. Apart from its concerns for the community, it also gives ample stress on reducing its carbon footprint to support the environment to have a livable world. The use of renewable energy is one of such examples ( 2017).

A company with a mismatched focus would find this difficult to be in the competition. The modern era of competition has taken a different shape, which is heading more towards the social responsibilities. Customers indeed look for the brands that have better records in the corporate social works. This is why it is important for any company to have their business strategies aligned with the social responsibilities as well (Brammer, Jackson & Matten 2012, p.3-28).

There are various ways to attract investors to start up a new business with core values to align to the social responsibilities. Such companies need to initiate few programs such as social welfare like education, helping the poor and providing the relieving works to the natural disaster affected people. Such programs would not only bring the investors but this would also bring many more nations from the different parts of world. People from across the globe give huge donations on such social causes. Another way of attracting the investors can be to advertise the core values related to social responsibilities. This would educate the investors from the different parts of world as the business is aligned with social causes. Investors generally invest in such cause that gives publicity and returns as well. The new venture would give both the business and the reputation (Aguinis & Glavas 2012, p.932-968).

Traditional business can be defined in two ways such as the one that has less or no connection to the social responsibilities and the one that is aligned with the social responsibilities. Traditional business might get investors if they have potential projects with them; however, they would not be able to get the same number of investors as it is possible with the organization aligned to extensive social responsibilities. This can also be because there are risks associated to the every new project; however, social works are free from risks. This indeed gives utmost publicity to a firm or the associated partners (Nwagbara & Reid 2013).


Whole Foods is one of the most reputed companies in the United States. It has earned reputation in producing the organic foods, which are safe and healthy. The organizational mission and its core values connect its bonding to the social responsibilities. According to the Co-CEO of the company, it is relatively easier to stay competitive by focusing in strengthening the culture. On contrary to this, it is relatively difficult to be in the competition with just normal business strategies. This is because strategies can be easily copied by the other competitors. This is exactly the same what has had happened with the Whole Foods Company. The dominance of the company in producing the organic foods was fiercely challenged by some highly reputed companies such as Walmart, Kroger and Safeway. Whole Foods has been challenged for the pricing of the organic foods. Organic foods are comparatively much expensive than what is offered by other competitor companies. Additionally, they have also been caught for offering foods that were unhealthy and contained calories or fat. The violation of the core values and the pricing of the organic foods have both hampered the earned reputation of the Whole Foods Company.

To gain back the lost position in the market and to stay firm against the big rivals like Walmart, it is important for Whole Foods to reduce the prices of organic foods. This can be done and the prices can be reduced if it closes the program that scrutinize every single suppliers based on certain parameters. Nevertheless, they should have a large number of suppliers partnered with them. This would enhance the bargaining power of the Whole Foods Company. Moreover, they would be able to offer foods on cheaper prices. However, they should never compromise with the quality of foods. To maintain this, they should work closely to all their suppliers if it is possible. This would ensure a quality production. Nevertheless, quality of product in combination to cheapest pricing is the two strategies that really help get more customers. Getting more customers mean progressive business, which would ensure the business of the Whole Foods Company get back to the position where they once belonged to.


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