just food co-op product policy

Local Food

Local Food

At Just Food Co-op, we are buyers for our members. Our product policy is one tool that we use to help determine whether a product will be brought into the store. Our buyers work hard to ensure that we are working with local farmers and producers to help our local foodshed provide product to our community.

Just Food’s ENDS Statement is derived from our bylaws.  As stated in our bylaws, Just Food’s purpose is to operate a financially sound retail grocery to provide the Northfield area with natural and healthful foods and other household and personal items and services at the lowest possible cost, and to serve as a marketing distribution point for area food producers. We will provide a model of responsible business practices based on co-operative principles, giving consideration to the needs of all members and recognizing the right of workers to participatory management.

Just Food Co-op nourishes a just, healthy and sustainable community.

-Just Food Global Ends Statement

This policy provides guidance and limitations for product selection at Just Food Co-op. The policy is guided by the following principles:

  • We strive to meet customer demands and follow market trends.
  • We are a financially viable, member-owned cooperative.
  • We provide healthy, sustainably produced products.
  • We work to strengthen our local foodshed.
  • We work to build a resilient social, economic, and ecological environment in our community and beyond.
  • We strive for fairness in all of our relationships.

Taking into account customer demand and market trends, we strive to provide a wide variety of whole-food choices and products that are fresh, in season, minimally packaged and processed, reasonably priced, and produced and distributed by businesses with ethical practices and high quality standards. We purchase from cooperatives and companies with the most direct decision-making authority over their products and practices whenever possible.

Selection Criteria

Our products will be evaluated carefully using the following selection criteria in order of preference:

  • Locally produced
  • Certified Organic
  • Fair Trade Certified
  • Produced using sustainable practices

There are certain product characteristics that we prefer to avoid wherever possible. In many cases, these are characteristics that would be on our Product Limitations, but for difficulty in verifying compliance and/or lack of options.
Our products are evaluated carefully, applying a negative preference to (avoiding) the following criteria:

  • Products containing Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
  • Products containing nitrates
  • Products that have been irradiated – killing many beneficial qualities in the product
  • Supplements produced with fillers, binders, or artificial colors or flavors
  • Wellness products containing ingredients such as lauryl sulfates, sodium cetearyl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, propylene glycol, PEG, PPG, petroleum ingredients, phenoxyethanol, TEA, DEA, EDTA or synthetic fragrances.

Our products are evaluated carefully to ensure we do not knowingly carry products meeting any of the following criteria:

  • Food products that contain artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives – including MSG
  • Products containing artificial or chemical sweeteners
  • Products containing trans-fats or hydrogenated oils
  • Products containing High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Products containing parabens (methyl, poly, or butyl)
  • Products that have been tested on animals
  • Products produced with artificial growth hormones or antibiotics (rGBH, rBST, etc.)
  • Products that don’t meet our cage-free living-condition requirements