Product Policy and Guidelines
1. Product Selection.
(A) BODY CARE. Body Care products carried by the Co-op must be natural; i.e. contain no coal tar colors, avoid harsh chemical agents and be as minimally processed as possible. Products free of animal ingredients will be emphasized.
(B) HERBS. It is the intent of the Co-op to maintain a large and comprehensive bulk herb department.
(C) PRODUCE. It is the intent of the Co-op to sell only certified organic fresh produce except in the case of produce from growers in the process of making the three-year transition to certified organic status, or in the case of local growers, not certified
organic, but whom the Co-op buyer personally knows to be essentially organic (for instance, in the case of a Co-op owner who had a small supply of an heirloom apple to offer), or in the case of an item being temporarily unavailable as organic.
(D) BULK. It is the intent of the Co-op to maintain a significant portion of products sold in bulk as compared to packaged products.
(E) PRODUCTS TO BE DE-EMPHASIZED.
(1) Non-organic fresh produce.
(2) Food products known to contain genetically modified organisms.
(3) Products containing High Fructose Corn Syrup.
(4) Beer and Wine.
(5) Non-organic dairy products.
(6) Products containing refined sucrose (ie: white sugar.)
(7) Products containing refined fructose.
(8) Products containing fractionated oils and/or fats.
(9) Products that contain i)hydrogenated or ii)partially hydrogenated oils and/or fats.
(10) Products containing synthetic preservatives.
(F) BANNED PRODUCTS.
(1) Products that are tested on animals.
(2) Products containing artificial sweeteners.
(3) Products containing nitrites or nitrates.
(4) Irradiated foods and food products known to contain irradiated foods.
(5) Products containing artificial coloring or flavor.
(6) Products produced from endangered species.
(7) Cigarettes (does not disallow other tobacco products.)
(8) Foods containing or consisting of meat from juvenile animals (does not include pet
foods, gel caps, homeopathics, glandular products, fish oils, and other health
(H) MEAT, FISH, DAIRY OR EGGS FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION.
(1) All animals must have access to the outdoors, direct sunlight and pasture and/or
space suitable for the species at all stages of their lives.
(2) All animals must have access to adequate shelter, including shade.
(3) No intense confinement, for example: hens in battery cages, overcrowded fish,
cattle feed lots, etc.
(4) Animals must have access to clean water and food of good quality (no fecal
matter, newspaper, ground up animals, cement dust, etc.)
2. PRODUCT POLICY AMENDMENTS.
Proposals for amending the current Product Policy, including adding or removing items from
the de-emphasis or banned lists, may be presented to the Board of Directors for
consideration. The Co-op By-Laws also allow for changes to be made via a Petition of
Definitions: Executive Limitations Policies
DEFINITION OF VALUE. Value is defined by how well a product meets the four criteria listed
(1) NUTRITIONAL CONTENT.
The Co-op emphasizes products that best meet the nutritional needs of the individual. Foods of high
nutritional value include:
(a) MINIMALLY PROCESSED foods such as fresh produce, whole grains and beans.
(b) Foods FREE FROM UNNECESSARY or HARMFUL ADDITIVES such as
stabilizers, texturizers, preservatives, and artificial flavoring and coloring.
(c) Foods that meet the needs of SPECIAL DIETS.
(2) ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT.
The Co-op emphasizes products whose production,packaging, by-products and use increase the longrange
health of the global community. Products high in environmental value include:
(a) ORGANICALLY GROWN foods.
(b) BULK (UNPACKAGED) products, especially unpackaged alternatives to packaged
foods. When all other qualities are essentially equal, pricing should favor the bulk
(c) Products packaged in RE-USABLE, RECYCLABLE or BIODEGRADABLE
(d) LOCAL products and products bought as close to the source as possible, thus
requiring minimal transportation.
(e) Foods that are LOW ON THE FOOD CHAIN.
(f) Products intended for MULTIPLE USES (instead of single use and disposal) as
compared to alternative products.
(g) Products that are DURABLE and/or RE-USABLE in comparison to alternative
The Co-op emphasizes products that have the greatest value for the price, including “Back to Basics”
products that are selected whole foods that have significantly lower mark-ups than regular department
mark-ups. Products high in price value include:
a) Products that provide consumers with a CHOICE OF SIZES.
b) Products that provide a CHOICE OF QUALITIES, including products that provide
adequate quality for a low price or high quality for a moderate price.
(4) PRODUCER VALUES.
The Co-op emphasizes products of producers and distributors whose business, economic, ecological
and political practices improve the quality of life. Products high in producer value include:
a) CO-OPERATIVELY and COLLECTIVELY PRODUCED products.
b) LOCALLY PRODUCED products.
c) products of SMALL INDEPENDENT BUSINESSES.
d) Products of companies that are known to DEMONSTRATE CONCERN for workers,
consumers and the environment.
e) Products from which a significant portion of the PROFITS is GIVEN TO CHARITIES
that are consistent with our values.
f) Products produced by WOMEN or MINORITY OWNED BUSINESSES.