Product Guidelines


Acceptable & Unacceptable Food Ingredients Brochure


Products We Choose to Carry  (revised 2012)

Our product selection guidelines are an extension of our mission and values. These product guidelines are offered to provide a framework in which the Co-op ideals will be translated into the selection of goods for the store. These ideals include: good nutrition, respect for the environment, fostering of local production, socially responsible workplaces, and co-operative member ownership. The Co-op’s purpose of providing a broad range of pure, whole, staple foods and other essential items at a reasonable price is the base upon which these guidelines rest.

We promote the following standards:

  • Product Qualities: Favoring whole foods with minimal processing; certified organically grown; verified non-GMO products (refer to our GMO statement); products that do not contain ingredients on our unacceptable ingredients list.

  • Commitment to Community: Giving preference to those products grown or produced by small-scale enterprises, and to those grown or produced locally and regionally.

  • Environmental Concerns: Minimizing the negative environmental effects pertaining to our choice of products and, where there is a choice, to take the least detrimental option.

  • Consumer Education: Accepting the responsibility of providing educational information to our customers as it relates to these concerns and the products we sell, and in certain instances, as it relates to products we choose not to sell.

  • Fair treatment of workers: Giving preference to products that are produced by workers who are paid fairly and treated fairly in the workplace.

  • Support for the co-op movement: Giving preference to products produced and distributed by co-ops.

  • Political Concerns: Recognizing that there may be political implications of its selection of products and suppliers.

  • Provide a full-service grocery store: Complementing our array of basic products with items that are not commonly available elsewhere in East Jefferson County.

Animal Welfare Policy

The Food Co-op actively looks for products that are produced or raised in a manner that supports sustainable animal production and a healthy environment.

In departments where animal or meat products are sold, The Food Co-op selects products that:

o   Are raised or produced under humane methods or conditions,

o   Are organically fed, or locally raised,

o   Have not been fed antibiotics or hormones

o   That have been certified by third-party inspection.

We will not knowingly buy products from manufacturers who engage in animal testing or the egg production process known as forced molting.

We take several factors into consideration when purchasing animal products, including distance, transport time, processes taken and if suppliers have certifications.

rBGH- Free Policy:

Recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) is a synthetic growth hormone that is used by some of the dairy industry to artificially increase milk production. The Food Co-op offers a wide selection of dairy products, including all of our fluid milk selections, none of which contain this synthetic chemical.

The Food Co-op Seafood Sustainability Policy

Adopted 2016

All of our fresh, frozen, and canned seafood meet the following guidelines.  

  • Monterey Bay Aquarium (MBA) Seafood Watch best choice (green fish symbol here) or good alternative (yellow fish here). See


  • Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified. See (MSC is also recommended by Seafood Watch.)

  • For those species not covered by Seafood Watch or MSC—for example, some sardines and anchovies—we support small community fisheries.

We may stock some farmed shellfish—for example, oysters and mussels—that Seafood Watch lists as best choice or good alternative

Seafood Watch quick reference guides are available at the canned fish and the fresh meat case.  

We continue to monitor certifications and origins, incorporating this information into our annual review of this policy.  


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