JP Whole Foods debate cited in ethics textbook

June 6, 2014
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The Jamaica Plain Whole Foods Market, whose 2011 move into Hyde Square sparked debate about gentrification, is cited as a mini case study in a new business ethics textbook.

The 10th edition of “Business Ethics: Ethical Decision Making and Cases,” published in January, gives the Whole Foods debate as an example of how “the interests of communities and society” are ethical issues.

The textbook gets some of the basic facts wrong, calling JP “Jamaica Plains” and saying Whole Foods “took over” the former Latino-oriented Hi-Lo Market, when in fact Hi-Lo closed on its own.

Citing Gazette reporting among its sources, the textbook describes the gentrification debate that Whole Food inspired and how it later impacted the grocer’s request for a seating area. The book notes the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council’s opposition to that request, though it does not make clear that Whole Foods later received City approval.

“This demonstrates the community as a primary stakeholder,” the book says. “Although large companies like Whole Foods have significant power, pressures from the community still limit what they can do.”

Published by Cengage Learning, “Business Ethics” was co-authored by Prof. John Fraedrich of Southern Illinois University Carbondale and Prof. O.C. Farrell and Prof. Linda Farrell of the University of New Mexico.