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Whole Foods Inks Exclusive Deal for Documentary

Austin, Texas-based natural grocer Whole Foods Market is supporting a new documentary covering the “complex world of animal agriculture” by signing up to be its exclusive retailer.

“At the Fork,” a documentary by filmmakers John Papola and Lisa Versaci, premiered in theaters nationwide in the summer of 2016 and is now available on DVD in brick-and-mortar stores exclusively at Whole Foods, as well as on demand via iTunes and It follows omnivore Papola and Versaci, his vegetarian wife, on their cross-country journey to learn how animals are raised for consumption in the United States. Through behind-the-scenes footage and in-depth interviews with farmers and animal welfare experts, the film examines the complex world of animal agriculture, including many of the challenges and opportunities that exist within the current system.

Many of the farming practices examined in the film, including cages, crates and crowding, are prohibited under Whole Foods’ rigorous animal welfare standards. Since 2011, all fresh pork, chicken, turkey and beef sold at Whole Foods has come from farms that have been certified by Global Animal Partnership’s 5-Step Animal Welfare Program.

Whole Foods is supporting the film because it believes the film has “the power to help drive change across the country,” Whole Foods CEO and co-founder John Mackey said.

“In addition to sparking a deeper conversation about animal welfare in agriculture,” he added, “the film showcases how consumers can vote with their dollars to directly influence the way farmers raise their animals.”

Along with Papola and Versaci, “At the Fork” features a number of experts in the food, farming and animal welfare fields, including Mackey; Mark Bittman, a renowned cookbook author and former New York Times columnist; Leah Garces, director of U.S. operations with Compassion in World Farming and board member at Global Animal Partnership; Dr. Temple Grandin, a professor at Colorado State University; and Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.

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