Whole Foods is standing by its decision to ban Canadian employees from wearing a poppy, less than a week before millions of Canadians are set to pay their respects to veterans on Remembrance Day. The poppy is available in the weeks leading up to Remembrance Day on Nov. 11 to honour the country’s veterans and their sacrifices.
Whole Foods has since explained that its employee uniform consists of a standard apron, coat or vest, a Whole Foods Market hat, and an issued name badge. The company says it asks that all of its employees comply with the dress code policy and standard uniform.
Banning poppies has drawn the attention of Canadian political leaders at all levels. Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan was among them, writing on Friday “Canadians wear poppies as an act of Remembrance.”
“We wear them to honour the sacrifices made by our Veterans for our freedoms and values. All Canadians should be able to wear the poppy, no matter where they work,” Sajjan, who is also MP for Vancouver South, adds.
After Whole Foods refused to change course, Premier of Ontario, Doug Ford said his government will introduce legislation that would not allow companies to ban their employees from wearing poppies.
Whole Foods Market Inc. is an American multinational supermarket chain purchased by Amazon in 2017. Whole Foods has 14 locations across Canada.