Product Policy

The Co-Op will strive to support the best products and practices in regard to the health, safety, and preservation of humans, animals, and the overall biosphere that it can achieve. This is said with a clear understanding that the Co-Op includes people from widely variety of cultures, needs, and economic capabilities, which must be accommodated.

Policy on Products

The Coop will:

  • Maximize provision of foods and cosmetics which are organically and/or regionally grown, cruelty-free and otherwise environmentally benign, although items already carried which do not meet these criteria will continue to be sold.
  • Sell no products that are irradiated or contain irradiated ingredients.
  • Sell no products that are genetically engineered or contain products of genetic engineering, except that sales of genetically engineered products shall not be discontinued unless there is a similarly priced equivalent product that is not genetically engineered. Genetically engineered products for which there are adequate substitutes as described above shall be replaced as quickly as possible by the substitute product. The Coop staff, in cooperation with the Environmental Committee, shall work to identify substitute products where none has yet been identified. At this time, as genetically engineered products or products containing genetically engineered inputs are not labeled as such, for the purpose of this policy, products shall be considered to be genetically engineered if they contain non-organically produced ingredients that are known to be commercially available in genetically engineered form, or that are known to be produced with commercially available genetically engineered inputs.
  • Carry only food on which ingredients are listed.
  • Environmental Committee members will informally monitor new products that appear on the shelves, and when questions arise, discuss them with the Coordinators.

Assessment of products shall be based upon but not limited to the following criteria:

  • Avoiding toxic substances, whether in a product’s ingredients, production process, or use and disposal, particularly (but not limited to) avoiding use of products made with chlorine bleach and petroleum products.
  • Minimizing disposable products, by seeking durable alternatives and/or alternatives which have recycled content.
  • Achieving environmentally sound packaging, by avoiding products with excessive packaging and with packaging manufactured with chlorine bleach , toxic inks, or petroleum products and encouraging the ordering of products with recyclable packaging or packaging with recycled content.
  • Reducing energy use in transportation, by seeking comparable, locally grown products ( and where appropriate, locally produced products) to replace those transported cross country or from other countries.
  • Avoiding animal testing by seeking products which have not been tested on animals.
  • Avoiding products which are irradiated or genetically engineered or which contain irradiated or genetically engineered ingredients.

In making recommendations, the Environmental Committee shall also take into account these non-environmental factors:

  • The need to keep the number of distributors to a minimum
  • Availability of shelf space and how many similar items the Coop carries
  • Affordability of alternatives
  • Salability