BisMan Community Food Cooperative Food Policy

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



Introduction to BisMan Community Food Coop Standards

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.


Product Preferences

What we say "YES!" to:


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. However, we do so acknowledging that it isn’t feasible to promise we know every source, management style, and ingredient of every food or good.


  • Local, North Dakota’s Own, and Regional. The term “Local” will be reserved for producers within a 100-mile radius. The term “North Dakota’s Own” will be reserved for products that are made within this state. The term “Regional” will be reserved for producers in Minnesota, South Dakota, and Montana. Products outside of those guidelines will be held to the same standards as local and regional producers in regards to transparency.
  • Products produced using conventional chemicals or animals which are fed or injected with products containing these or other chemicals, including but not limited to; glyphosate, artificial growth hormones or antibiotics as part of their standard farming practices.


  • Uses practices that give thought and care to the environment in which they are produced. Examples include, but are not limited to, “Certified Organic,” “produced using regenerative practices,” and other practices used above conventional standards. Animal products derived from a confinement setting will be avoided.


  • Helps to meet needs of people on specialty diets. Whether you look for allergen-free or follow a specific lifestyle, 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, we will encourage the purchasing of products that provide the “Fair Trade” label.


  • 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.


  • Proactive Product Preferences. The following ingredients and production practices raise concern to a significant portion of our membership. The BMmparison so shoppers can make informed decisions. (Policy committee will CFC will actively strive to evaluate and verify production practices and transparent labeling. These products will be avoided, and preference will be given to products that do not knowingly contain the following. If they cannot be avoided, will be clearly labeled as such.


  • Do not knowingly contain: Artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, artificial or chemical sweeteners, High Fructose Corn Syrup, maltodextrin, dextrose, parabens (methyl, poly, or butyl), BPA, lauryl sulfates, sodium cetearyl sulfate, sodium lauryth sulfate, propylene glycol, PEG, PPF petroleum ingredients, phenoxyethanol, TEA, DEA, EDTA or synthetic fragrances.


What we say "NO!" to:

  • Products that have been tested on animals.


  • Products containing or animals fed Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) and GMO corn-based additives.


  • Products that have been irradiated


  • Supplements produced with fillers, binders, or artificial colors or flavors.

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.