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 more than 20,000 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.
Current Boycotts & Petitions:
Driscoll's Berries (SINDJA - Mexico) - posted March 1, 2017
While workers from Washington State won union recognition from Sakuma Bros., calls for a boycott of Driscoll's Berries originating from Mexico continues. The effort is being organized by the National Independent Democratic Farmworkers Union (SINDJA).
Outpost continues to source berries domestically, including local when available and viable. In the event import berries are required, we seek out Fair Trade when we can get them and when they are viable.
Outpost continues to be engaged in the conversation with wholesalers and will continue to advocate for systemic change within the supply chain.
Driscoll's Berries (Sakuma Brothers Farms) - posted September 8, 2016
Calls for a national boycott of Driscoll’s Berries has officially ended.
Representatives from Familia Unidas por La Justica:
"As of today we have officially agreed to an election and negotiation process for a collective bargaining agreement with Sakuma Bros Berry Farm. Thanks to your tireless efforts we are entering into this next phase of our union’s development with hope and determination. At this time we are calling for an end of the boycott, and all boycott activities. Out of respect for the process and our memorandum of understanding with the company please do not contact past, present or potential customers, purchasers, sellers or users of products coming from Sakuma Bros Berry Farm to convey criticism of any and all aspects of Sakuma’s business and operations.”
Driscoll's Berries (Sakuma Brothers Farms) - posted May 24, 2016
Calls for a national boycott of Driscoll’s brand of berries is being heard over concerns regarding unfair labor practices and human rights abuses regarding a Washington blueberry grower, Sakuma, which grows for the Driscoll’s label.
- Per our policy, we will post consumer information at the product so shoppers can make informed purchasing decisions
- Outpost buyers will continue to monitor this situation and will source alternative brands if possible
- Outpost does not carry berries from Sakuma Brothers Farms
- Driscoll’s Berries contracts with 100’s of independent farms nationally and internationally to grow berries for the Driscoll’s label
- Driscoll’s does not operate any farms
Depending on the growing season, Outpost will buy berries from different wholesalers and regions, domestic and other, when both quality and availability make that possible. We may sell Driscoll’s Berries brand from time to time in the event no other berry is available. Given the disputes in Mexico and Washington State, we will do our best to source Driscoll's organic strawberries from California whenever possible.
Outpost purchasing will continue to be engaged in the conversation with wholesalers and will continue to advocate for systemic change within the supply chain.
For more information:
Fair World Project - info on the unionization efforts/explains issue: http://fairworldproject.org/voices-of-fair-trade/the-struggle-for-fairness-at-sakuma-brothers/
Democracy Now - Workers Call for Boycott -
Find out where your Driscoll's Berries are from -