Below you’ll find our Product Selection Guidelines & Ingredients Statement.
The co-operative retail grocery store acts as the buying and distribution agent of consumers, rather than as the selling agent for wholesalers, producers, and financiers. It is run primarily to serve members’ needs as consumers, rather than to make a profit for shareholders.
Below are the values we want to emphasize in our stores through product selection, though not listed in order of priority.
- high price value: An emphasis on products that are high in price value, i.e. products that are
both high in quality and reasonably priced.
- products that provide consumers with a choice of sizes.
- products that are part of the “Co-op Basics” program, in which certain basic foods are
- designated as staples and are sold at a lower margin than usual.
- not containing genetically modified (GMO) ingredients
- local and regional
- products made by other co-ops
- products made by small (non-multi-national) or employee owned producers
- whole and minimally processed
- bulk (non or minimally packaged)
- honest packaging and labeling
- free of artificial colors, additives and preservatives
- processed with minimal sweeteners (except dessert items)
- products required for diverse diets
- products using environmentally sound practices
- products using fair labor (Fair Trade & Domestic Fair Trade)
- no irradiated foods
- cruelty free
- no carcinogens
- fragrance-free alternatives
Consistent with our belief that consumers have the right to make informed choices about the food we buy, our co-op strongly and publicly supports the mandatory labeling of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in the food supply.
Also known as Genetic Engineering, the laboratory process of injecting genes of one species into the genes of another has come to permeate mainstream agriculture over the past two decades, yet there exist no conclusive long-term studies on the health, environmental, and economic impacts of this new technology.
We believe that our communities have the right to choose what we are feeding ourselves and our families, and to know what those products are and where they come from. We want to give our customers the opportunity to make the most informed choices about the food they purchase, not to take that choice away from them, or make that decision for them.
Under current conditions (due to pollen drift etc.) there is no product that can be guaranteed to be GE/GMO-free (genetically engineered/genetically modified organism). While organic growers cannot control random pollination, they do begin with non-GE seed. Utilization of organic seed is the best practice for farming.
Regarding GMO Salmon
In November 2015 the FDA approved the sale of genetically engineered AquAdvantage salmon. (however AquAdvantage salmon require approximately two years to reach market size, estimating 11/2018 being available.) As we continue to support the National Cooperative Grocer’s Association’s position that GMOs should be labeled by manufacturers so that consumers have the information they need to make informed purchasing decisions, we look to the full range of tenets of our own merchandising policy to guide our purchasing decisions, and as such, will not be selling GMO salmon at either Franklin Community Co-op location.
National Co-operative Grocer’s position continues to be that GMOs, including GMO salmon, should be labeled so that consumers have the information they need to make their own purchasing decisions. Learn more about this issue by following Center for Food Safety, which plans to file a lawsuit challenging FDA’s GMO salmon approval
Foods We Produce
In production of our own foods, we have eliminated, as much as possible, the main sources of GMOs (beet sugar, corn, soy, canola and cottonseed). When possible, we use organic (which, by definition is non-GMO) or Verified Non-GMO versions of these ingredients.
We prioritize using organic fruits and vegetables as we also share purchasing with our organic and local produce department. Here is what we use in order to reduce the possibility of GMOs in our co-op produced foods:
- We use organic oils (canola, olive, corn, palm) in any of our prepared foods or baked goods
- We use a non-gmo pan spray
- We use non-gmo cornstarch
- We do not use corn syrup
- We use organic rice syrup
- We use organic cane juice crystals for sugar
- We use organic tamari (also wheat/gluten free).
- We use Bragg’s liquid aminos, which is non-gmo
- We use organic cornmeal
- We use organic soy products (tofu, tempeh, tempeh bacon).
- We use non-gmo soy milk & soy creamer
- We use non-gmo margarine and organic shortening
- We use rBST-free milk
- We use sour cream that does not contain cornstarch and is rBST-free.
- We use non-gmo mayonnaise and non-gmo Veganaise. We use organic ketchup
- We use only organic corn (frozen & fresh)
- We use only organic rice, grains and beans.
- We use organic filo dough and shells
- All of our spices are non-irradiated and organically sourced when available.
- All of our coffee is organic and Fair Trade
- All of our flours (wheat, rye, pumpernickle, spelt, rice) are organic or locally grown (which is non-gmo)
A note on eggs, dairy, meat: It is cost-prohibitive to use all organic for these products. For that reason, it is likely that most of the dairy, eggs, and meat we use comes from animals that consume GMO feed. We do, however, use meats that are hormone, nitrite, and nitrate-free.
Our co-op stores will continue to offer a diverse selection of products utilizing the values list of selection criteria stated above. This list of values is a reflection of what members have expressed a desire to have available and in turn are supported through their purchases.