Petitions & boycotts
Food Issues: Boycotts and petitions
People ask us all the time about food action issues like boycotts and petition drives and these are important issues to us. We are all about food safety, nutrition, sustainability and keeping our owners informed here. After all as a natural foods co-op, we are driven by and committed to the seven co-op principles (you can read them here). But being a co-op means that we are a family of diverse voices. We currently have nearly 18,000 owners, who elect and are represented by a nine-person board of directors. The diverse needs and views of that family are obvious in our wide product selection – organic foods are incredibly important to some, as are vegan products to others and locally-sourced foods to others.
Outpost's Boycott Policy
The cooperative itself will not join in any boycott. We will however commit to posting information about a boycott impacting any products sold at Outpost, a means of transparency and consumer education. Such decisions to post information about boycotts are overseen by management’s Product Policy Advisory Team.
What constitutes a product boycott?
Any request to boycott a product given to us by an active owner or an owner group, or by a member of our Product Policy Advisory Team.
This boycott request must be:
2) Clearly stated;
3) Have achievable goals;
4) Exhibit goals consistent with our mission and/or core values; and
5) Contain valid and/or verifiable information.
Pending a decision by the Product Policy Advisory Team, information about the boycott will be posted on our website and by the product display in any store(s) which carry said product(s).
When will the posting end?
Information will remain posted until the Product Policy Advisory Team determines that:
1) The boycott has been officially called off by the organizing party;
2) There has been no discernable change in product sales in our stores over a six-month period;
3) Our stores no longer carry the targeted product; or
4) The Product Policy Advisory Team obtains new information that changes the premise of the situation related to either the product and/or the boycott.
Palermo’s Pizza Boycott Information
In April, two federal agencies published rulings concerning a labor dispute at Palermo’s Pizza in Milwaukee. Outpost sells frozen pizzas made by Palermo’s. Several groups had previously called for a boycott of Palermo’s products because of the labor dispute.
The cooperative itself does not join in any boycott. We do commit to posting information about a boycott impacting any products sold at Outpost, as means of transparency and consumer education. The information will remain posted until the Product Policy Advisory Team obtains new information that changes the premise of the situation related to either the product and/or the boycott.
In April, the National Labor Relations Board issued a final ruling denying an appeal of an earlier regional NLRB ruling that had cleared Palermo’s of “all significant charges” that had been filed by the Palermo Workers Union. Here is a story on that ruling. That followed news in early April that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency had declared Palermo’s in compliance with employment law. That story can be found here.
As these decisions mean the premise of the situation related to the boycott has changed, Outpost has decided to remove the informational postings from the stores and our website.
Petition: Demand the FDA withdraw the New Dietary Ingredient Draft Guidance (posted November 30, 2011)
The FDA is making its most serious attempt in 17 years to dramatically limit access to dietary supplements by trying to require all supplements sold after October 1994 to be registered as New Dietary Ingredients (NDIs). This registration process would be extremely expensive and will limit the kinds of products that can be sold. If the NDIs are adopted in their current form, prices for dietary supplements will skyrocket, the range of products currently available will significantly dwindle, and the innovation the dietary supplement industry has been known for will be decimated. READ MORE and SIGN THE PETITION.
Petition: Halt the sale and planting of GMO alfalfa and sugar beets
Several groups are collecting signatures on a petition to US Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilsack, asking the Obama administration to halt the sale and planting of GMO alfalfa and sugar beets.