Our Product Policy(PDF version here)
Prairie Roots Food Cooperative’s goal is to create positive change in the region by influencing the production, distribution and enjoyment of food. It is our goal to offer members and shoppers a choice of products and information that promote personal, economic and environmental health and sustainability. We will act as a buying agent for our members, not a selling agent for manufacturers.
The buyer(s) at Prairie Roots Food Cooperative are presented with a wide range of products and must determine what products should or should not be carried by our store. This product policy will guide them in making buying decisions and informs consumers about what they can expect from our products.
First and foremost, our products will be natural:Containing no artificial flavors, artificial colors, artificial preservatives, artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated oils.
We will give strong preference to products that are:
· Locally produced*
· Certified organic
· Produced utilizing practices that support environmentally sustainable agriculture
· Fair Trade certified
· Free of growth hormones, antibiotics, and/or genetically modified organisms †
· Raised using sound animal husbandry and humane practices
· Fairly priced, offering our members value for their money
· Packaged minimally and/or with materials that are manufactured and disposed of in an environmentally sound manner
· Produced and distributed by vendors who meet city and state civil rights policies and run their businesses ethically
· Produced or distributed by cooperatively owned vendors
· Produced by manufacturers who do not utilize animal testing
· Help meet the needs of people on specialty diets, such as products that are wheat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, etc.
· Available for purchase on the WIC program
· Desired by our members and shoppers
Occasionally there are exceptions to this product policy, for products deemed necessary by our General Manager, for eligibility with the WIC program or for temporary substitutions.
In general, the co-op’s preference is to educate shoppers about food controversies and allow them to make their own decisions, rather than control choices through bans or boycotts. We will provide information about food issues in a useful and timely manner.
* Eating locally can benefit the environment, boost freshness and flavor, and support the rich network of farms in our region. Our co-op labels foods local when they are produced in MN, ND, SD, MT, IA, or WI.
†While we actively oppose GMO foods and prefer to not carry any items using genetic engineering/modification, it is nearly impossible to promise our store is free of such items (with the exception of “Certified Organic” products). Currently, GMO foods require no labeling in the US, and most manufacturers will not release sourcing information for their ingredients. We support labeling requirements and will work to educate our shoppers about foods that are more likely to contain GMO ingredients, so that they may choose what is right for their diets.
This policy may be amended by management at any time, and will be reviewed annually by the Co-op’s Board of Directors. Last revised March 7, 2012.