Product Selection Guidelines

The food co-op has product selection guidelines that we use to prioritize what we purchase. Over time we expect that the majority if not all of the food we sell will comply with these guidelines.

YES, We Prioritize and Promote…  

FRESH, WHOLESOME, & MINIMALLY PROCESSED – We commit to providing our community with a wide assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as packaged and bulk foods that are minimally processed and contain quality, wholesome ingredients. What do we mean by that? Check out the rest of our product selection guidelines to learn more.
LOCALLY & REGIONALLY PRODUCED – We support our local economy, by sourcing our products as close to our store as possible and by building lasting relationships with our farmers & producers. What is local? We define local as products that are grown or produced in the state of Louisiana, or within 250 miles of New Orleans. We have 3 categories to classify our local products: Locally Grown, Locally Produced, & Crescent’s Pride (Products grown &/or produced in New Orleans).
ORGANIC &/OR SUSTAINABLE – We prioritize sustainable agriculture by supporting farmers that focus on building soil health & water quality, while refraining from the use of synthetic pesticides and herbicides. We work to increase the use of organic or otherwise sustainable methods by encouraging our farmers and producers to go green. We source as many products as possible from sources that have grown/produced them using organic methods*, especially those products which are purchased through a distributor rather than directly from a local farmer or producer.  When an item is available from a local source who does not adhere to organic methods, we will offer both local and organic options when available, so long as the local products otherwise meet our product selection guidelines. When neither organic nor local options are available or if the price of a similar organic product is prohibitive, we may carry conventional products that otherwise meet our Product Selection Guidelines.
FAIR TRADE – We prioritize fair-trade products when available, especially Fair Trade Certified chocolate, coffee, & bananas.
MINIMALLY PACKAGED  – We encourage our customers to shop in bulk and bring bags/containers to minimize packaging. We also prioritize products that are packaged in materials that are manufactured from recycled and/or recyclable, compostable, or otherwise able to be disposed of in an environmentally sound manner.
COOPERATIVELY & COLLECTIVELY PRODUCED – We prioritize products grown or produced by co-ops or other collective enterprises whenever possible. This is one way that we support the cooperative principle, cooperation amongst cooperatives.

 

We Minimize…  

ARTIFICIAL COLORS, FLAVORS, PRESERVATIVES, ADDITIVES, HIGH FROCTOSE CORN SYRUP or HYDROGENATED OILS  – Our goal is to avoid products containing any of these artificial ingredients.
HORMONES & ANTIBIOTICS – Our goal is to avoid carrying meat, eggs, and dairy produced from animals that have been treated with hormones such as RbGH. Producers that don’t use hormones, & antibiotics will be prioritized, except where antibiotic free alternatives are not available, or not available locally. In the event that a local option is available but not antibiotic free, we will strive to offer both the local product and a non-local, anti-biotic free option.
CARCINOGENS, GENE OR HORMONE DISRUPTORS – Our goal is to avoid carrying products with ingredients that contain carcinogens, gene or hormone disruptors. We further work to limit the use of plastic by encouraging customers to bring their own container and shop in bulk.
GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS (GMOs) – Our goal is to avoid carrying products that contain genetically modified ingredients. This means carefully looking into products that commonly are grown from GMO seed including: soy, corn, cotton, & canola in order to ensure they are either organically grown or certified GMO free.
ANIMAL TESTING- Our goal is to avoid selling any products that have been tested on animals.

 

We Avoid…  

TOBACCO or NICOTINE PRODUCTS – We will not sell any tobacco or nicotine products.
PRODUCTS ON FOOD SAFETY or PRODUCT RECALLS – Product recalls are all too common in the food industry. We take your health seriously. In the unfortunate event that any item we carry has been recalled it will be immediately pulled from our shelves and we will email an announcement of the product recall to all member-owners on our email list.

 

Note: The term Organic is used for products are certified as such by the USDA or which have been produced using organic methods but are exempt from certification due to being under $5,000 in gross revenues a year. Organic certification ensures that certain criteria have been met to produce food within certain limitations including the prohibition of synthetic pesticides and herbicides. We recognize that at this time, many of our local farmers/producers are not certified organic we will work to encourage sustainable methods.

Information regarding the ingredients of products and nutritional information will be provided. Whenever possible we will provide information on research regarding food safety, health, nutrition, farming & manufacturing processes, the treatment of farm-workers, and the care of livestock.

Customer requests will constantly be reviewed and considered; including requests for hard to find food items for those with food allergies, or on health related or otherwise restricted diets. If you have a product you would like to see offered at our store, please fill out a customer comment card.