Whole Foods to roll out 'responsibly grown' rankings for fruits, vegetables

IndustriesAssociated Press

Whole Foods on Wednesday plans to start rolling out a system that ranks fruits and vegetables as "good," ''better" or "best" based on the supplier's farming practices.

Most notably, the supermarket chain says its "responsibly grown" labeling system for produce and flowers will prohibit the use of several common pesticides. The rankings will also take into account factors such as water and energy usage.

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The standards were developed by Whole Foods and are not an official government or industry designation.

The move signals how Whole Foods is trying to draw a sharper distinction between itself and its competitors, in part by making shoppers feel more empowered about their purchasing decisions.