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"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food."     - Hippocrates

The BisMan Community Food Cooperative is uniquely positioned to offer our members and patrons a grocery shopping experience reflective of our community’s commitment to health, wellness, and dietary needs. While staying rooted in our mission of providing food transparency and choice, we will act as a buying agent for our members, not a selling agent for manufacturers.

We are constantly looking for suppliers (producers and other cooperatives, whenever possible) that align with our principles. We believe that trust and communication between the co-op and its suppliers is vital; we believe that they are supplying us with the best products, and we pay them a fair price in return.

We recognize that food choices are highly personal and some products or ingredients are acceptable to some and not acceptable to others. We urge customers to read ingredient labels on all products to see how well they correspond to their individual preferences. In return, the co-op will provide customers with transparent information about food issues and ingredients to make informed decisions.

Finally, it is important to us that we educate our employees on the foods and goods that are sold, in order to accurately portray those products to the members and customers.

Purpose of Policy

BMCFC believes in offering better alternatives to purely conventional products while continuing to sustain a financially viable, member-owned cooperative. Product purchasing for the cooperative should reflect customer demand and market trends. We wish to make a positive impact by implementing the Triple Bottom Line, which consists of social, ecological, and economic principles. Accordingly, this policy provides management guidance for product selection at BisMan Community Food Co-op.

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Product Preferences

Merchandising preference will be given to products that have one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Provides transparency. We will seek out products that identify ingredients, origin of production, and production practices. We want to provide transparency for our members and customers.
     
  • Local, North Dakota’s Own, and Regional. We are committed to supporting local growers, vendors, and producers.
     
  • Uses practices that give thought and care to the environment in which they are produced.
     
  • Helps to meet needs of people on specialty diets. Our cooperative will strive to help its members and customers meet their needs.
     
  • Offers fairness standards in all of its relationships. Because we promote healthy working conditions, protecting the environment, enabling transparency, and empowering communities to build strong, thriving businesses.
     
  • Presented in packaging that is minimal and environmentally sound. The impact of product packaging will be considered in the procurement process as well as in the production of goods within the cooperative.
     
  • Do not contain ingredients such as artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, or sweeteners; high fructose corn syrup, maltodextrin, dextrose, parabens, BPA, sulfates, propylene glycol, PEG, petroleum ingredients, phenoxyethanol, TEA, DEA, EDTA or synthetic fragrances.
     
  • Not produced using conventional chemicals.
     
  • Not tested on animals.
     
  • Do not contain (or animals not fed) genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
     
  • Have not been irradiated.

Deli - Produce - Meat Policy

Due to uniqueness of products and to availability of Local products, the Deli, Produce, and Meat departments will also adhere to the following:

  • Like products will have a chart comparison so shoppers can make informed decisions. (Policy committee will develop farm practice charts to be displayed prominently). Each producer should provide the store with a production protocol for each type of product they supply.
     
  • In supporting individuality of food coop members, the Deli will strive to offer menu choices that support a variety of dietary preferences.
     
  • The Deli will provide emphasis for promotion of local products.
     
  • Deli, Produce, and Meat department employees will be educated in order to inform the consumer of product sources, characteristics and availability of options.