Product Sourcing Guidelines
• Quality and Taste
Sugar Beet Food Co-op will make quality and taste a top priority when buying food products, whether fresh or packaged. Quality and taste will be the benchmark when applying any other criteria in these Guidelines.
Sugar Beet Food Co-op believes in the economic, environmental, and community building benefits of sourcing locally, and will prioritize relationships with local growers and food producers.
Food grown within 150 miles of The Co-op is considered “local”. Food grown within 250 miles of The Co-op is considered “regional”.
Sugar Beet Food Co-op will make it a priority to choose products from farms that are GAP and GHP certified. Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Handling Practices (GHP) will help ensure the safety of the foods we sell through The Co-op.
• Humane and Cruelty Free
Sugar Beet Food Co-op will make it a priority to choose dairy products, meat and eggs from local farmers that treat animals humanely. Animal Welfare Approved (AWA) products will be given priority.
Sugar Beet Food Co-op will make it a priority to choose certified organic products. Certification entities such as Oregon Tilth, USDA Certified Organic, Quality Assurance International (QAI), Sustainability In Practice (SIP), Certified Naturally Grown (CNG) and Animal Welfare Approved (AWA) will be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that standards are being maintained. If a local or socially responsible product is preferred, certification may be waived. If 100% organic is unavailable or does not meet the “Quality and Taste” guideline, a high percentage of organic ingredients will be preferred over natural or conventional.
Sugar Beet Food Co-op will give priority to products with minimal processing, whole ingredients, and natural sweeteners over processed, artificially sweetened food.
• Sustainable and Low Impact
Sugar Beet Food Co-op will make it a priority to buy sustainable products: products that come from supportable production, from the ground to delivery to packaging. The products chosen will be those that have the lowest possible environmental impact. Priority will be given to producers that pay attention to the environment, food justice, humane husbandry, and fair practice.
The procurement of fish and seafood will be made with the utmost attention to sustainability, and will be guided by accredited programs such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Fishwise Program. Standards and criteria will be reviewed on an ongoing basis, and sensible decisions will be made with regard to farmed versus wild fish and seafood.
• Fair Practice and Social Justice
From the labor of its product suppliers to the labor of its own employees, The Sugar Beet Co-op will make every effort to observe and promote social justice. The Co-op will support domestic and/or international Fair Trade certification when available, and review these criteria on a regular basis. The Co-op shall not knowingly sell products from any vendor who engages in unfair labor practices, including but not limited to union busting, paying below minimum wage, engaging in discrimination (based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, or disability) or in other ways treating its workforce and local community in harmful and disrespectful ways.
• Humane and Cruelty-Free
The production of dairy, meat, and poultry sold by the Co-op will be fair and humane and reflect an attitude of responsible and sustainable husbandry. Products will be hormone and antibiotic-free, and meet or exceed the most current standards in quality, responsibility, and safety.
• Allergies and Special Diets
Sugar Beet Food Co-op will make every effort to know the source of products and practices of suppliers, and will convey this information to members. Special diets such as vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, wheat-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, kosher, low-salt, salt-free, or any other special diets that are identified by the members will be addressed and clearly conveyed on product shelves and in special sections.
• Selective and Evaluative
Sugar Beet Food Co-op shall continually develop and review the List of Unacceptable Ingredients, Additives, and Agents, the document that identifies ingredients that are harmful, questionable, unnecessary and unacceptable. Products containing ingredients from this list that are deemed unacceptable will not be carried by the store.
In addition, Sugar Beet Food Co-op will not accept the following:
Dairy or milk products from cows treated with BGH, rBHG, BST, rBST, and/or any other antibiotics, hormones, and additives in meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy
GMOs – genetically modified food
*this is a working document and will be further developed as Sugar Beet Food Co-op grows in ownership.