Interview with Daniel Vidal of Whole Planet Foundation (WPF)

Mike: Break it down for us, what is Whole Planet Foundation (WPF)?

Daniel: WPF is a Whole Foods Market (WFM) established nonprofit foundation. Our mission is poverty alleviation through microcredit in the communities that supply WFM with product.

Mike: What is microcredit and how does WPF leverage it to maximize impact?

Daniel: Microcredit is small loans, usually about $200 or less. It’s a way of providing capital to and empowering poor entrepreneurs around the world to start small home-based businesses that generate income for themselves and their families. I could go on endlessly about microcredit’s many aspects, but will spare readers the details. Feel free to leave a question, and I’m happy to answer in the comments below.

Mike: What does ‘buying positively’ mean for WPF?

Daniel: Put simply, our Foundation wouldn’t be where we are today without conscious consumerism, or the idea of buying positively.

As a corporation, WFM has donated $8.6 million to WPF. WFM pays 100% of our operating cost, allowing us to use every penny donated to the Foundation to support our mission. $3.3 million has come from WFM employees through paycheck deductions and $81,000 has come from online donors. And it’s not just WFM and its employees helping fund the fight against poverty; WFM customers have donated over $10 million and WFM suppliers are also stepping up big time, giving $3.6 million.

What does all this mean? Nearly $15 million has been donated to WPF solely because of smarter, everyday purchasing. It’s easy to think that your weekly milk and cereal purchase doesn’t make a difference, but it really can, and it does! Everyday people make decisions about what store to shop at or what brand to buy and many are beginning to realize the real impact we can have on this world by making more informed buying decisions.

Mike: WPF’s field metrics and track record for creating tangible social impact are impressive. Can you break it down for us?

Daniel: As of today, WPF is currently funding 58 projects in 51 countries around the world. We have directly funded 199,659 clients, 91% women, and committed over $26 million – all of these funds come from socially responsible brands (WFM, its suppliers etc) as well as the exponentially growing tribe of conscious consumers like you and I committed to buying positively.

Mike: Any advice to those interested in the action of buying positively?

Daniel: Next time you find yourself needing a few items, take time to research your favorite brands and what they’re doing beyond a profit. There are a lot of mission-driven brands out there really turning traditional consumerism on its head. Support the one’s doing good for your body and good for our world. Who knows, your next bowl of cereal could be helping a women across the world serve breakfast to her children.

Mike: Final thoughts to inspire?

Daniel: We all really can make a difference

Daniel Vidal is Social Media Specialist for Whole Planet Foundation where he focuses his time between Social Media and Online & Digital Marketing. He holds a Bachelors of Business Administration and International Business from St. Edward’s University.