The Great Basin Community Food Cooperative, The GBCFC, is dedicated to serving as an access point for nutritious, wholesome, socially just, environmentally sound, locally grown, locally produced, and delicious goods. Our purpose is to promote our local food system and to serve as a sustainable cooperative model for access to wholesome food. We wish to serve as full service grocery store providing produce, dairy, grocery, fresh and frozen meats & seafood, bulk foods, wellness items, beer & wine, prepared foods, and general merchandise. We will do our best to purchase from local farms, local businesses, and larger independent companies whose practices are socially just and environmentally sound. Our goal is to provide wholesome and nutritious food with affordable options while fairly paying farmers and producers and honoring the true cost of good food and its intrinsic values. This requires our buyers to carefully balance their purchasing power to find the best products available for the most affordable prices.
We will do our best to provide nourishing and environmentally sound alternatives to foods and products that:
- Contain GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms)
- Contain artificial preservatives, flavors, sweeteners, or colors
- Contain synthetic hormones such as RBST and RBGH
- Contain high fructose corn syrup
- Contain monosodium glutamate (MSG)
- Contain hydrogenated oils
- Are produced with unfair, unsafe or inhumane labor practices
- Use animal testing
- Use hormones or preventative use of antibiotics
What is Local?
The following map shows the location of several local farms that supply the GBCFC. We define locally produce goods as those sourced from within our food shed. Our food shed is based off the three closest river systems and their watershed/drainages: The Truckee River, the Carson River, and the Walker River. When a product is unavailable from within our food shed, we source the item from as close as possible. We believe that if we are good stewards of our watershed, utilize sustainable growing practices, and produce the goods that are needed to sustain life from within our foodshed, that we will find ourselves living in a healthier ecosystem and that our community will be better nourished. By providing more sustenance from our own food shed, we reduce the tendency to exploit the food sheds of other peoples and locales as well as our own.
What is Regional?
We define Regional Products as those grown or produced from our neighboring watershed out to a 200mile radius.
What is Sustainable? Previously known as “Natural”
We recognize sustainable as those farms or products that are grown or produced without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, genetically modified seed, or other toxic substances. We call a farm sustainable when the producer exhibits practices that foster a living soil and provide a spectrum of vitamins and minerals to the food being produced. The producer’s application must be accepted by our local food distribution center, DROPP www.dropp.coop. We also require yearly site inspections, which must be documented by a staff member of the GBCFC.
What is Organic?
From the USDA website: Organic is a labeling term that indicates that the food or other agricultural product has been produced through approved methods that integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering may not be used. Consumer Information.
Learn about the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (PDF). This is the Act that established the National Organics Program and its authority to enforce agricultural products sold, labeled, or represented as “organic” within the U.S. To be called or labeled certified organic, there are several standards that must be complied with. USDA Organic Regulations and certified organic status can be obtained through accredited certifying agents List of accredited certifying agents. We are lucky to have our statewide certifying agent, the Nevada Department of Agriculture which has created its own Organic Certification Program and is accredited through the USDA National Organic Program http://agri.state.nv.us/PLANT_OrganicPgm.htm .
What is a Food System?
A food system includes all processes and infrastructure involved in feeding a population: growing, harvesting, processing, packaging, transporting, marketing, consumption, and disposal of food and food-related item.
PRODUCT PREFERENCE HIERARCHY
As we do our purchasing, preference will be given to products according to the following guidelines:
Processed, Packaged, & Bulk Food: Local Organic > Local Sustainable> Regional Organic >Regional Sustainable> National Organic > National “All Natural”
Farmed Foods: Local Organic > Local Sustainable >Regional Organic>Regional Sustainable > National Organic >International Organic
Our product merchandising will attempt to represent the values of our cooperative as well as the strategies laid out in this document. Preference will be given to products that have one or more the following characteristics:
- Produced locally according to the GBCFC’s definition of local; if more than one local product is available we will base our decisions on the product preference hierarchy as well as take into consideration:
- length of time the producer has been supplying us,
- quality of service, product, and pricing
- distance between the operation and the store.
- USDA Certified Organic;
- Fair Trade Certified;
- Produced with environmentally sustainable practices;
- Produced by a company that is socially just
DEPARTMENT SPECIFIC GUIDELINES
The GBCFC Produce Department will provide shoppers with certified organic and sustainably grown produce, seeds, seedlings, soil nutrients, plants, and flowers. We will always source locally first to reduce our food miles, to support the local economy and environment, and provide local and regional farmers and producers a place to sell their goods
Produce & Product Preference Hierarchy: Local Organic > Local Sustainable >Regional Organic > Regional Sustainable >National Organic >International Organic
The Produce Department Buyer will consider a producer’s product based on good appearance, good taste, nutritious quality, and reasonable pricing. The buyer must find the best possible product for the most fair and sustainable purchase price that will sell well in the store and provide the lowest sale price possible to our customers while meeting produce department benchmarks. The GBCFC Produce Department will also honor and encourage lasting relationships with local farms by giving purchasing preference to those we have bought from with success for the longest amount of time.
The GBCFC Produce Department will source organically and sustainably grown local products whenever possible. In this process we will make every effort to include all local farmers. Continued and long lasting relationships will be based on the following requirements:
1. Proof of liability insurance;
2. Documentation: If a grower is certified organic, evidence of that certification must be provided. If a grower is not certified organic, a list of sustainable growing practices used in the operation must be provided via our DROPP application: www.dropp.coop
3. Openness to an initial and yearly site visits that will demonstrate sustainable practices that produce nourishing food
4. Consistent supply, delivery times, invoicing, and country of origin labeling
5. Dependable communication between the farmer and the co-op including agreed upon pricing that will pay the farmer or producer the best price possible while providing affordable options for our shoppers
As we conduct our business, we will:
- Offer only certified organic products when ordering from regional, national or international sources unless comparable organic choices are not available;
- Keep strong and long lasting relationships with local farms and farmers;
- Give preference to sustainable and organic products, including bananas, that are labeled as Fair Trade
- Provide accurate signage, labeling, and twist ties. Signs will include Country of Origin, Town of Origin, and Farm Origin when possible.
The GBCFC’s Grocery department will offer high-quality and sustainable products in each of its categories. We will continually evaluate our current and future product selection based on store food policies. We will attempt not only to flourish, but also to raise awareness and educate our customers about health and environmental concerns through our merchandising and product selection.
As we conduct our business, we will:
- Source as much local and regional food as possible;
- Give preference to organic products over natural products whenever possible;
- Make every effort to source Fair Trade Certified products whenever possible;
- Merchandise local, organic, and Fair Trade products prominently when possible, with clearly visible signs and marketing materials designating them as such;
- Sell bulk items and offer environmentally friendly packaging options for those items; we will transition to bulk offerings when available and prioritize creating the necessary infrastructure to do so including: filtered water, carbonated water, kombucha, and root beer
- Give preference to minimally packaged and sustainably produced products.
MEAT & DAIRY
The GBCFC’s meat and dairy buyers will provide products that are the freshest and
healthiest options available to us.
As we conduct our business, we will:
- Source local sustainable and organic products whenever possible.
- Offer certified organic and pastured meat and dairy products
- Offer only products that were not produced with the use of synthetic hormones such as recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST) and recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH);
- Offer only free-range and free roaming poultry and eggs;
- Offer products that are produced without regular doses of antibiotics.
- Always do our best to offer certified organic or sustainable options of dairy, eggs, and meat products from operations that do not feed their animals high risk GMO products unless they are verified non GMO or the producer has provided written documentation on steps taken to avoid GMO contamination
All manufacturers, producers and farmers must do one of the following:
1. Publish a standards statement that states that the product is raised without growth hormones or preventative use of antibiotics. These statements may be printed on packaging or on a company website.
2. Provide the Buyer with a signed letter outlining production procedures and stating that the product is raised without growth hormones, GMOs, or preventative use of antibiotics.
The GBCFC’s seafood buyer will not purchase farm -raised seafood unless the producer can verify using written documentation that the creatures are fed non-GMO feed.
The world’s oceans are being over-fished and their ecosystems are being harmed by destructive fishing practices and open-system fish farms. The GBCFC’s seafood buyer will source only sustainable seafood options. The GBCFC will partner with organizations that work to promote sustainable fishing practices.
The GBCFC’S prepared foods department is committed to serving a hearty
selection of freshly prepared foods including hot and cold entrées, to-go food, a hot bar, a salad bar, bakery items and made-to-order options. The selection will feature the full spectrum of natural foods including wholesome, local, sustainable, organic, minimally processed healthy foods, items that prove popular, and alternatives to commonly allergenic foods.
As we conduct our business, we will:
- Offer a hot bar that includes a nutritious grain, a hearty green and at least one vegetarian option;
- Endeavor to meet a variety of dietary needs including dairy and gluten-free options;
- Properly label all food with ingredients and their organic status;
- Offer a salad bar that includes organic and sustainably produced salad greens and produce
- Use local sustainable and organic produce and products whenever possible;
- Consider all recipes for their sugar, fat and sodium contents as well as flavor and consistency. Sugar preference hierarchy:
No Added Sugar>Sugars that are less refined such as honey, maple, & stevia>Cane Sugar, Agave, Xylitol from Birch
- Constantly seek packaging, containers, and utensils that reduces the prepared foods department’s impact on the environment and work toward creating a deposit system for high quality reusable packing, containers, and utensils
- Prioritize the use of GM free ingredients
Non Foods buyers will meet the following criteria for products:
- Minimum of 40% postconsumer recycled material in all paper products. Eighty percent to 100% recycled is preferable. They will also be free of chlorine and other potentially harmful additives and treatments;
- Recyclable, biodegradable,
- Petrochemical and 1,4-dioxane-free;
- Phosphate Free
- Free of artificial fragrances and colors
PERSONAL CARE & WELLNESS
The wellness department at The GBCFC is committed to providing customers with
health and beauty products that are not tested on animals and that are made with plant-based ingredients. We will offer carefully selected body care products, whole food and organic supplements and a wide selection of vitamins.
As we conduct our business, we will:
- Offer products that are free of questionable or harmful ingredients such as parabens, urea, DMDM hydantoin, synthetic fragrances, sodium lauryl and laureth sulfates (SLS), polypropylene and polyethylene glycol (PEG) and 1,4 dioxane;
- Offer a selection of whole food and organically grown nutritional and herbal supplements, locally manufactured when possible. We will give preference to supplement products displayed in light-resistant amber glass bottles.
- Offer vitamins with full disclosure informative labeling, rigorous quality control, testing of all raw materials and final product, and a line of USDA certified organic products.
All general merchandise sold at The GBCFC will be created with fair and humane labor practices.
As we conduct our business, we will:
- Require vendors to supply a social responsibility document via the DROPP application (www.dropp.coop) proving fair labor practices and humane employee treatment before products are considered;
- Give preference to locally produced products;
- Give preference to products that are produced sustainably and promote social awareness, environmental stewardship and cooperative values
Ethical and Humane Labor Practices Vetting Policies:
All manufacturers and suppliers must do one of the following:
1. State that the product is made in the United States or a nation with fair labor laws and is in compliance with that country’s labor laws.
2. Publish or provide a social accountability policy statement that includes fair wages, willful employment, and third party evaluation.
What is “All Natural”?
All Natural: The U.S. Department of Agriculture considers a product “natural” when that product contains no artificial ingredient or added color and is only minimally processed. Minimal processing means that the product was processed in a way that does not fundamentally alter the product. The label must include a statement explaining the meaning of the term natural (such as “no artificial ingredients; minimally processed”).
What is a GMO (Genetically Modified Organism)?
Genetically modified varieties of seeds have had their DNA scientifically altered to make the crops more pest, disease, or chemical resistant. GM seeds are controversial because no one is sure of their long-term effects on the environment and humans.
A NOTE ABOUT GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS (GMOs):
Due to the unregulated introduction of genetically modified crops into our food system since the late 80’s and the fact that now more than 70% of food found in stores is contaminated with GMOs, it has become difficult to know for certain of foods are truly free of GMO’s. With this in mind, The GBCFC is in the process of becoming enrolled as a supporting retailer with the Non-GMO Project, a nonprofit multi-stakeholder collaboration committed to preserving and building sources of non-GMO products, educating consumers, and providing verified non-GMO choices. The Non-GMO Project Verified Seal indicates products that have been produced according to rigorous best practices for GMO avoidance, including testing of high-risk ingredients. We recognize that consumers expect sustainable and organic products to be free of GMOs and are endeavoring to meet that expectation to the best of our ability. Therefore we are no longer accepting new products containing GMO high-risk ingredients (listed below), unless they are certified organic.
High-risk Crops - The following crops carry the risk of being genetically engineered, because engineered varieties are grown on a large scale in North America and certain other parts of the world:
Alfalfa (for hay)
Canola (Rapeseed for oil)
Corn (not popcorn)
Cottonseed (for oil)
Sugar Beets (for sugar)
Papaya (Hawaiian & Chinese)
Yellow Crookneck Squash
Products at Risk – Anything containing these crops or if the livestock consumed these products and they are not organic, sustainable, or non-GMO verified:
Dairy-milk, cheese, yogurt, kefir etc
Farm Raised Fish
Anything Containing Ingredients with GMO Derivatives
Possible Ingredients containing GM Derivatives:
high fructose corn syrup
hydrolyzed vegetable protein
soy protein isolate
sugar (unless specified as cane sugar)
tocopherols (vitamin E)
Hybrid, Open Pollinated, & Heirloom
Hybrid: Varieties created by crossing two separate varieties to achieve desirable characteristics. A hybrid tomato may have been bred to have excellent disease resistance, produce uniform, prolific fruit, or have superior flavor. If you sow the seeds from a hybrid, the resulting fruit may revert to the characteristics of one of its parents. The slicing tomatoes from Lattin Farms are a hybrid variety and they are certified organic. Pluots, apriums, plumcots, and other fruit crosses are also hybrids.
Open-Pollinated: Varieties of plants that are pollinated naturally by wind or insects without human intervention. Saved seed will be true to the original variety
Heirloom: An open-pollinated variety that has been passed down through the generations for at least 50 years.