Product Policy

Product Policy

Product Policy


The Chequamegon Food Co-op is dedicated to providing ecologically sound foods and products, the production and quality of which promote the health of our members and our community. As such, the Product Policy will guide our staff in the selection of the products sold at the Chequamegon Food Co-op. Product selection should also fully support our Ends Statement.

In general, Chequamegon Food Co-op will carry a wide variety of high-quality products, which are wholesome, supportive of local producers, helpful in building a sustainable food distribution system, produced in an environmentally sound and socially conscious manner, and available at a fair price. However, we will also choose to carry some products as a convenience to our members and shoppers.

Product Preference

We give strong preference to products that are:

  1. Certified Organic
  2. Locally produced (within 100 miles of Ashland, Wisconsin)
  3. Regionally produced food (the upper-Midwest)
  4. Made in the United States
  5. Produced utilizing practices that support sustainable agriculture
  6. Produced without the ingredients on our Unacceptable Ingredients list
  7. Fair Trade certified
  8. Free of growth hormones and/or antibiotics
  9. Raised using humane and sound animal husbandry practices
  10. Produced by manufacturers who do not utilize animal testing
  11. Fairly priced, offering our members value for their money
  12. Minimally packaged, with materials that are manufactured and disposed of in an environmentally sound manner (i.e. compostable or recyclable)
  13. Produced and distributed by vendors who meet city, state, and federal civil rights policies and run their businesses ethically
  14. Produced or distributed by cooperatively owned vendors
  15. Needed by people on specialty diets (i.e. wheat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, etc.)


We will stock products based on customer demand and demand may supersede product preferences. Demand is demonstrated by consistent sales volume for products already on the shelves or by multiple customer requests over a given quarter on products not already carried. Any such products that contain one or more of the excluded items will be clearly documented. More desirable alternatives will be provided whenever possible and will be substituted when they are available at competitive prices (where “competitive” is defined generally as being as much as 25 percent more expensive.)


Customer product requests will be reviewed and considered on a regular basis. If the product meets our preference criteria, space is available, and there is a perceived demand, the product may be added to our product mix.


Customer complaints about products will be reviewed on a regular basis. If cause is found to remove the product, a notice will be put out to customers.


As a democratic entity, the Chequamegon Food Co-op actively encourages our members to make educated buying choices. While we do not boycott products or call for our membership to do so, we do aim to keep our customers informed about issues surrounding our products. Information regarding food safety, security, and ethics news will be shared in our media outlets when possible.

Policy Support

This policy is only good if it is used. To insure compliance, Co-op management will perform frequent reviews of product selection by buyers. The Product Policy will be supported in the following ways:


The Co-op will provide information about pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and artificial or potentially harmful additives. Information regarding the ingredients of products and their manufacturing processes as well as nutritional values of products will be provided when possible.


This policy may be amended by store management at any time and will be reviewed annually by the Co-op’s management. The store management may occasionally survey the membership to see what changes to the Product Policy may be required.

Unacceptable Ingredients for Food

The following list contains ingredients that Chequamegon Food Co-op finds unacceptable in food products. This list is intended for illustrative purposes for our buyers.

Please note that just because a product is made with no unacceptable ingredients does not guarantee that Chequamegon Food Co-op will sell it.  Exceptions may occasionally be made for local products or other products based on customer demand. In instances where a product contains an ingredient from the unacceptable ingredients list, an “ingredient alert” tag will be posted next to the product to notify customers.


acesulfame-K (acesulfame potassium)

acetylated esters of mono- and diglycerides

ammonium chloride

artificial colors

artificial flavors




benzoates in food

benzoyl peroxide

BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole)

BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene)

bleached flour

bromated flour

brominated vegetable oil (BVO)


calcium bromate

calcium disodium EDTA

calcium peroxide

calcium propionate

calcium saccharin

calcium sorbate

calcium stearoyl-2-lactylate



certified colors


cysteine (l-cysteine), as an additive for bread products


DATEM (Diacetyl tartaric and fatty acid esters of mono and diglycerides)


dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate (DSS)

disodium calcium EDTA

disodium dihydrogen EDTA

disodium guanylate

disodium inosinate



ethyl vanillin

ethylene oxide



FD & C colors

foie gras


GMP (disodium guanylate)

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs)


hexa-, hepta- and octa-esters of sucrose

high fructose corn syrup

hydrogenated fats & oils


IMP (disodium inosinate)

irradiated foods


lactylated esters of mono- and diglycerides

lead soldered cans


methyl silicon


microparticularized whey protein derived fat substitute

monosodium glutamate (MSG)





partially hydrogenated oil


potassium benzoate

potassium bromate

potassium sorbate


propyl gallate




sodium aluminum sulfate

sodium benzoate

sodium diacetate

sodium glutamate

sodium nitrate/nitrite

sodium propionate

sodium stearoyl-2-lactylate

solvent extracted oils, as standalone single-ingredient oils (except grapeseed oil).

sorbic acid



sucrose polyester

sulfites (except in wines, meads and ciders)


TBHQ (tertiary butylhydroquinone)

tetrasodium EDTA



*updated November 2021