Walmart managed two lead stories in the NY Times today:
Most of the nation’s major food producers are hard at work developing organic versions of their best-selling products, like Kellogg’s Rice Krispies and Kraft’s macaroni and cheese.
Why the sudden activity? In large part because Wal-Mart wants to sell more organic food â€” and because of its size and power, Wal-Mart usually gets what it wants.
As the nation’s largest grocery retailer, Wal-Mart has decided that offering more organic food will help modernize its image and broaden its appeal to urban and other upscale consumers. It has asked its large suppliers to help.
The campaign to encourage suppliers to join the advocacy group, called Working Families for Wal-Mart, challenges Wal-Mart’s longstanding policy of keeping suppliers at arm’s length and shows how eager the company is to fend off a well-organized union-backed campaign critical of its wages and benefits.
Though Wal-Mart provides the advocacy group with significant financial help, the five-month-old Working Families for Wal-Mart describes itself as autonomous, boasting 100,000 members around the country and a 16-member national steering committee that includes a musician, a filmmaker and a minister.
Wal-Mart will not disclose how much money it has provided to Working Families for Wal-Mart. Asked if the group received financing from a source other than Wal-Mart, a member of the group’s national steering committee, Martha Montoya, said, “No, not that I know of.”
It seems like Walmart is just unable to do anything in a totally above board manner. Their “organic” food will be organic junk food. Their advocacy group is an astro-turf organization. This is the legacy of straight shooting Sam Walton?