Whole Foods CEO John Mackey has charged himself with the duty of changing what he believes to be the tarnished image of business. He suggests that corporations, in general, have an undeservedly poor rep among consumers. In this interview he makes reference to the works of Adam Smith. The same Adam Smith who said "I have never known much good done by those who affected to act in the public good", and, "People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices." Considering the billions corporations pay lobbyists each year, I'm with Adam Smith on this one.
Mr. Mackey also speaks of his efforts to get government (as opposed to the free market) to impose standards on producers of organic foods. Not a libertarian (as he considers himself) sort of act in my estimation.
I say let's not fret over the consumers' view of businesses in general. Companies, independent of one another, will, through the free market [competitive] process, determine the quality of their own reputations.
From a purely business standpoint, you gotta appreciate his efforts. I mean don't you want to spend your money at an institution with a CEO so concerned with the public good? Even though you can get [a lot of] (virtually) the same stuff at Trader Joe's (so I'm told) at noticeably lower prices?