Whole Foods Says It Will Stop Selling Prisoner-Made Products Made By April 2016

After a protest at one of its Texas stores, Whole Foods says it will no longer sell products made using a prison labor program. The company has sold tilapia and goat cheese produced through a Colorado inmate program at some stores since 2011, and now plans to have the products out of stores by April 2016 or sooner.

A prison reform advocate who organized a protest at a Whole Foods store in Houston this past weekend said the company told him it’d be changing its policy. Though other companies sell products produced through inmate programs, he said it was hypocritical of Whole Foods to do so, due to how the company presents itself.

“They say they care about the community, but they’re enhancing their profit off of poor people,” he told the Associated Press, adding that prisoners usually don’t make much money for their work.

A Whole Foods spokesman said that the company had sourced prisoner-made products as a way to “help people get back on their feet and eventually become contributing members of society,” but that it chose to stop doing so because some customers were uncomfortable with it.

Whole Foods to stop selling products made by prisoners [Associated Press]

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