Whole Foods Market CEO Jason Buechel Speaks to Axios, Reuters
Jason Buechel, the CEO of Whole Foods Market, took part in a fireside chat at the second annual Axios What’s Next Summit, an event that highlights innovators who are shaping the future of work. Buechel began his role as CEO of Whole Foods Market in September 2022, previously serving as the company’s Chief Operating Officer. Buechel talked with Axios reporter Dan Primack about the key issues that are influencing the direction of the company, and how it continues to raise the bar in service of people and the planet. The company set a goal of reducing food waste by 50% by 2030. It is also putting its support behind regenerative agriculture, a growing movement that promotes holistic farming and grazing management practices that improve soil, enhance biodiversity, and increase carbon capture. The company collaborates with farmers, ranchers, scientists, and experts across the food industry in order to ensure plentiful harvests for generations to come.
Buechel spoke at the Axios summit on how Whole Foods Market is working to create a better experience for customers, suppliers, team members, and the communities it serves. “Our customers are coming to us for the fact that we’ve done the homework for them and there’s a differentiated assortment, so they’re not confined. Whether it’s our quality standards or the 365 and Whole Foods Market branded products we carry, our focus is on how do we continue to serve our customers, create an amazing experience, and grow from there.” Buechel recently announced Whole Foods Market’s 10-year plan called “Growing with Purpose”, with goals of enhancing the store experience, investing in team member growth, and growing the company’s footprint in new and existing markets.
Buechel also took the stage Reuters Responsible Business USA to share his thoughts on responsible sourcing, regenerative agriculture, and the company’s vision for the future. “We have to figure out how we can do what’s right for our collective stakeholders,” Buechel said. “We know our customers want advancements. We know that this is the right thing to do, from an environmental stewardship standpoint perspective, and we can find ways that can help balance out cost within the supply, that can hopefully be optimal for our suppliers as well. For us, it about figuring out those new means and having a conversation about how we’re going to get there.” Speaking at Reuters, Buechel highlighted various programs, such as Nourishing our Neighborhoods, initiatives to reduce food waste, and regenerative agriculture. The company is taking action to help maintain the integrity of the term “regenerative” in the industry, as well as supporting third-party verification, and encouraging suppliers to move in the direction of maintaining soil health. More information for suppliers on regenerative agriculture is available from Whole Foods Market online at https://supplier-education.wholefoodsmarket.com/regenerative-agriculture/.