The Reason So Many Canadians Are Furious With Whole Foods

Supermarket giant Whole Foods prides itself on its commitment to providing customers with high quality, natural and organic food options (via Whole Foods). The chain also claims to support sustainable agricultural practices and offer economic partnerships with communities worldwide. According to Eat This, Not That!, the brand even has an 18-month apprentice program in place for its butchers, and ensures that employees are well-trained and qualified for their jobs. Another interesting tidbit of information? Whole Foods maintains strict body care rules and has banned over 100 ingredients often found in beauty products such as parabens, oxybenzone, and aluminum chloroydrate. 

Despite its best efforts, Whole Foods does occasionally court controversy and find itself trying to make amends. Recently, as told by HRReporter, Whole Foods was hit with outrage in Canada for its strict dress code policy for staff members at the organic grocery chain. Here is what you should know about how it all went down. 

Whole Foods received backlash in response to its strict dress code for employees

Essentially, Whole Foods has a strict dress code policy that prohibits staff members from wearing "any additions to our standard uniform," and this included the traditional commemorative poppies worn to mark Remembrance Day in Canada and the UK (via HRRreporter). The day is meant to honor those who died during World War I and other wars, according to the BBC. Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had previously spoken about the issue himself and addressed the nation's concerns. "I think Whole Foods has made a silly mistake that I am hoping they will correct very quickly," Trudeau said. Meanwhile, many Canadians expressed their anger online, tweeting with the hashtag "#LestWeForget."

For Whole Foods, Reuters explained, not allowing its staff members to wear poppies attracted the ire of the Canadian public, which has now led the brand to rethink its stance and change its dress code policy. "Our new unified dress code policy is intended to create consistency and ensure operational safety across all of our stores," a spokesperson for Whole Foods said in a statement. "Our intention was never to single out the poppy or to suggest a lack of support for Remembrance Day and the heroes who have bravely served their country. We appreciate the thoughtful feedback we have received from our customers."