Our Buyers’ Guidelines

Buyers shall follow these considerations for purchasing product for the Co-op.

For any product category offered by the Co-op, preferences shall be given to products and vendors that best satisfy the following:

  • The product is grown or produced locally.
  • The product is wholesome, natural, and minimally processed.
  • The product is grown and processed organically or sustainably.
  • The product is minimally or sustainably packaged.
  • The product is affordable
  • The producer:
    • Demonstrates a commitment to these considerations.
    • Demonstrates a commitment to social and environmental responsibility.
    • Must be a Co-operative business or demonstrates a commitment to Co-op values.

Buyers are expected to apply judgement to determine the best-suited products, using these considerations as guidelines rather than strict rules. For example, a product grown or produced in Rutland would certainly be local, but if it is produced using pesticides, GMO’s, excessive packaging, or unfair labor practices, we would not give it as high a preference.

Buyers should keep in mind the Purpose (mission) of the Co-op in making product decisions. That Mission States:

  • Provide affordable access to natural, whole, and minimally processed and packaged food items and other products that form the basis for healthy and ecological lifestyles.
  • Provide a market for local, regional, and other cooperative producers of food and other household and personal products.
  • Provide a community building and educational center where owners and other patrons can work, shop, and learn together and empower each other.
  • Provide a support for the cooperation with other individuals and organizations whose purposes are similar to those of the Co-op.