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Starting a comment period about carrying Eden Foods products

228 replies [Last post]
Mathew A Loftus
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The co-op should absolutely not boycott Eden Foods. Let the individual consumer decide for them selves by voting with their wallet.

Mathew A Loftus
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The co-op should absolutely not boycott Eden Foods. Let the individual consumer decide for them selves by voting with their wallet.

Dino Ress, Heidi ...
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I do not support a boycott of Eden Foods although I am furious over their contrarian position on the availability of 100% safe FDA regulated medications to their employees. Instead, I propose we vote with our food dollars and avoid purchasing Eden products. If this happens, you will certainly see Coop staff respond to the increasingly low demand for Eden products and appropriate lower volumes of shelf space for them and reappropriate this shelf space for competitor's products.

If we, as owners, decide to force our Coop to boycott the purchase of Eden products, we will be burdening that staff with locating alternatives that some might find inferior, and ultimately drive some owners to start looking at other markets to shop for the products they want to purchase.

I would rather imagine an Eden admin employee look at decreasing sales month over month, than to see a single spike in declinging sales volume. Think people! A single expected drop in sales sends a very short message. A long, continued slow bleed of profits shows a very stubborn and persistent message altogether, which is more likely to get Eden execs to 'wake up' and reverse their course on social policies that are unpopular and ill conceived.

Bridget Holcomb
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While I personally will be boycotting Eden Foods, I do not believe the co-op should. Our agreed upon values are around the food system. Basing a boycott on issues beyond this will alienate some members, and taking on more issues will make us less effective advocates for a better food system.

Many thanks to the co-op board and staff for a thoughtful process in this decision.

El-assal, Kathryn...
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Eden Foods should not be dictating a woman's health choices. I support a boycott.

Breanna Dahl
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I support a boycott of Eden Foods. I believe that women's healthcare is incredibly important and should include full access to contraceptive care.

Breanna Dahl
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I support a boycott of Eden Foods. I believe that women's healthcare is incredibly important and should include full access to contraceptive care.

Levi Sable, Tyler...
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I would really appreciate it if the Coop stopped carrying Eden Foods products. I think their disregard for the health and wellbeing of their employees is disgusting, and while apparently SCOTUS believes that's okay, I don't think it's appropriate for us to tolerate that by continuing to support their actions.

Levi Sable, Tyler...
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I would really appreciate it if the Coop stopped carrying Eden Foods products. I think their disregard for the health and wellbeing of their employees is disgusting, and while apparently SCOTUS believes that's okay, I don't think it's appropriate for us to tolerate that by continuing to support their actions.

Bill Lizdas
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I support a boycott. While Eden is a good supplier of healthy food, a more important concern is the harm they're bringing to women's health issues.

Erin Vallicelli
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We as owners get to choose which principles we prioritize over others, and one way we demonstrate this priority is by being consumers. Some of other posts in this dicsussion show how varied this prioritization can be, and since we want to be respectful and tolerant, it seems that we should focus the discussion on whether or not Eden Foods' stance on contraception meets this foundational principle of our co-op:

"Food and Product Selection Philosophy

As a neighborhood based, full service grocer, we are committed to:

Preferring to source local, organic, natural, sustainable, humane, and fairly traded products which represent our Owners’ diverse values and contribute to healthy, just, tolerant and viable communities." (from the Cooperate with YOur Co-op page)

I would argue that the actions of Eden Foods have demonstrated a belief or value that does not contribute to healthy, just, or tolerant communities. 

We also can't forget that this is new to us - so we have been doing business with a company many find morally questionable for years. We may be doing business with many other companies that we would find morally questionable for many different reasons reasons. Are we to continue to be reactionary, or is the a need to be proactive in this area? Being ethical not just about how you react to new information, it is also about seeking the information you need to act ethically.

Becca Schill, Jul...
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Please continue to carry Eden Foods products.  There are no alternatives to this leader in Organic Food Production and safe packaging, I am not aware of any other organic producer that carries solely Organic products.  This is not a usual profits over people position, it is one of a long standing religious/social conviction.  While I disagree with this particular policy of theirs I will direct my efforts at my government officials and the Supreme Court to get religion out of politics.

The Co-op is full of products owned by parent companies (Hain Celestial, General Mills, etc...) that condone and profit off of the practice of applying harmful chemicals to our food supply, endangering the health of the land and farm workers.  If this is an issue of worker rights there are far greater atrocities than not paying for birth control.  At least Eden workers have health care.  While Hain Celestial may be on the correct side (in my opinion) of the GMO labeling debate they own many non-organic product companies.  When one purchases any of the many products owned by General Mills, even Organic products, the dollars are directly funding Monsanto, Dow Chemical, the fight against GMO labeling laws, as well as the exposure of farm workers to harmful chemicals. 

A potential boycott would be short sighted.  I will continue to buy Eden products in support of a better agricultural system.  I have been pushing to get more Eden products in the store, especially at East.  Please consider bringing in Eden Pasta Sauce, and Crushed tomatoes in glass jars, refried beans, and the variety of Eden nuts, seeds, trail mixes that are available.  I will continue to boycott the many General Mills products carried at the Co-op.

Rebecca Steffy, A...
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I support a boycott of Eden Foods. This company chose to enter the public arena with their reprehensible healthcare stance, and join a major lawsuit. With the SCOTUS decision that has followed, this is now a highly visible national issue. We have an opportunity to respond with symbolic action, with speech, and with our dollars. I hope we can do so collectively. 

Jo Ann Berg
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Most boycotts do not work, and neither will this one unless all co-ops in America plus all other health food stores organized together. This is not going to happen, esp. since Whole Foods' owner shares same religious views as Eden founder.  Further, boycotts are a market based solution, and not the best way to deal with this.  To once again compromise our health choices for a futile endeavor (ie, the boycott is not going to change Eden's worker policy) is foolish. If anything, the co-op should stock more Eden products as they are usually the best where health (and cost) is concerned.  

Suzy Grindrod, Ed...
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Eden organics is compromising women's health choices. The CEO considers contraceptives to be "lifestyle drugs." 

Keith Hintz
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Please put the decision of whether or not to boycott up for a general membership vote.

Michael Cavill
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Please keep Eden products on the shelves. 

Kirsten Moore
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Per the statement made by Brendon Smith, we are adding comments that come in via our Contact Us page and Customer Comment slips anonymously. Here is a comment that came in on 07/06/2014:

"I appreciate the packaging and quality of the Eden products and would appreciate if you continue to carry them.  If others object to the business practices of Eden I feel they should vote by not purchasing the product and then you will see on your shelves that you should not be buying that much (or any) of their products. Our family will continue to buy their products as we don't object to their business practices and appreciate their quality compared to many others."

Kirsten Moore
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Per the statement made by Brendon Smith, we are adding comments that come in via our Contact Us page and Customer Comment slips anonymously. Here is a comment that came in on 07/06/2014:

"Please continue to carry Eden Foods products-they are the ONLY provider of any BHA  free canned beans that I am aware of.-they are absolutely committed to quality food and all things good that come with that-tolerance is a 2 way street.  maybe a 15 way street, maybe 150 way street.  not everyone is going to agree-personally, I am hoping all this pushs us maybe just a wee bit closer to single payerthere are probably other good reasons also.that's what I think anyway"

Kirsten Moore
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Per the statement made by Brendon Smith, we are adding comments that come in via our Contact Us page and Customer Comment slips anonymously. Here is a comment that came in on 07/07/2014:

"Please boycott Eden Foods based on their position on reproductive rights.  As a community, we must vote with our dollars to show companies that their position is not tolerable."

Kirsten Moore
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Per the statement made by Brendon Smith, we are adding comments that come in via our Contact Us page and Customer Comment slips anonymously. Here is a comment that came in on 07/07/2014:

"While I am religious, I find it very disturbing when religious beliefs determine government actions. We need only to look at what is happening in Muslim countries that are theocracies, ex. Iran. There is a reason why the Founding Fathers who were men of the Enlightenment, and mostly deists (not regular Christians), tried to separate the church from the state. Not to weaken either but to protect each from the other. An unfortunate corollary of many, especially fundamentalist, religious laws and restrictions is that they tend to fall most heavily on women. It is women whose freedoms, whose health, whose permissible actions bear the brunt of almost all religious restrictions. They also tend to be the ones who die as a result. Anyway, having American corporations determine the health needs of their female employees based on some patriarchal concept that the role of women is to breed indiscriminately by limiting their choices in preventing pregnancies, or their ability to receive treatment for endometrial cancer, PCOS, or ectoptic pregnancies and so on, is totally unacceptable. Eden Foods CEO has no business in determining a female employee's medical decisions whether by economic means or by hiring and firing decisions. A woman's value should not be determined by her ability to reproduce. That view belongs in the Dark Ages, or in Iran, or in some of the Muslim African and Asian nations. It is sad that there are women here who do not understand how fragile the concept of female human equality is! I am a long time owner and customer of Willy St. Co-op. Many of my friends are as well. Some are vegetarian, some are vegan, some not, but we all do buy Eden Foods. I personally will no longer buy Eden Foods, and most of them won't either. I realize that may cause a problem for the co-op. However, Eden Foods can choose to start covering all the procedures in the ACA, if not, I am sure that there will be competitors which will quickly fill the gap. I would also like to point out that while there are many male customers at Willy St., the majority appear to be women."

Kirsten Moore
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Per the statement made by Brendon Smith, we are adding comments that come in via our Contact Us page and Customer Comment slips anonymously. Here is a comment that came in on 07/08/2014:

"While I vehemently disagree with Eden Foods politics, I think it would be a mistake for the co-op to boycott this brand. Eden Foods is doing the right thing on many fronts - they are a smaller company, they have fought for GMO labeling, and they are preventing cancer with BPA-free packaging. They provide a market for domestic organic farmers. If those farmers lose their market, will they be able to stay in business? If they go out of business, it's likely their land will end up in conventional production. I would like to see the co-op educate members about the politics of this company, and perhaps co-ops could work together to pressure them to change. A boycott, however, could lead to unintended consequences that are even worse than the company's politics."

Kirsten Moore
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Per the statement made by Brendon Smith, we are adding comments that come in via our Contact Us page and Customer Comment slips anonymously. Here is a comment that came in on 07/08/2014:

"To be honest, we won't be purchasing Eden Food products going forward whether they are carried at Willy St. or not. Normally my policy is to live and let live. If they don't go spouting about their political leanings, I tend not to use that in my decision making process. Eden Food has chosen to enter the political arena and have chosen an anti-worker and discriminatory stance. These values do not align with mine, it's a personal choice for me no matter what Willy St. decides to do with Eden Foods going forward. Having said that, one of the things I appreciate about Willy St. is that you consciously choose to '...support a healthy, just, and tolerant food system in which workers are valued and compensated fairly across the board.' I don't believe that Eden Foods fits with that vision and would certainly support removing their products from the Willy St. inventory."

Kirsten Moore
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Per the statement made by Brendon Smith, we are adding comments that come in via our Contact Us page and Customer Comment slips anonymously. Here is a comment that came in on 07/09/2014:

"Apparently you should have dumped them even before they filed the lawsuit.  They are clearly not forward thinking if they don't cover "lifestyle drugs" like contraceptives or smoking cessation.  First, contraceptives as lifestyle drugs?  Wouldn't it be good for the planet if we didn't have huge families.  And, if they are truly interested in limiting chemicals in the food supply, that belief would also cross over into helping their employees quit their smoking habits.  Money is power; please tell them we don't want to buy their products any more."

Kirsten Moore
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Per the statement made by Brendon Smith, we are adding comments that come in via our Contact Us page and Customer Comment slips anonymously. Here is a comment that came in on 07/09/2014:

"Keep the product."

Kirsten Moore
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Per the statement made by Brendon Smith, we are adding comments that come in via our Contact Us page and Customer Comment slips anonymously. Here is a comment that came in on 07/06/2014:

"Both owners would like to have Eden's products removed from the Co-op." 

Kirsten Moore
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Per the statement made by Brendon Smith, we are adding comments that come in via our Contact Us page and Customer Comment slips anonymously. Here is a comment that came in on 07/04/2014:

"Please remove Eden products from the store."

Kirsten Moore
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Per the statement made by Brendon Smith, we are adding comments that come in via our Contact Us page and Customer Comment slips anonymously. Here is a comment that came in on 07/03/2014:

"We need to stop carrying EDEN organics (they sued w/ Hobby Lobby to supress women access to contraception in their health insurance)"

Kirsten Moore
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Per the statement made by Brendon Smith, we are adding comments that come in via our Contact Us page and Customer Comment slips anonymously. Here is a comment that came in on 07/04/2014:

"Please stop carrying Eden products. They are chosing to deny their employees birth control."

Kirsten Moore
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Per the statement made by Brendon Smith, we are adding comments that come in via our Contact Us page and Customer Comment slips anonymously. Here is a comment that came in on 07/06/2014:

"Edensoy hates women. Drop them, please. Thank you."

Kirsten Moore
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Per the statement made by Brendon Smith, we are adding comments that come in via our Contact Us page and Customer Comment slips anonymously. Here is a comment that came in on 07/06/2014:

"GET RID OF EDEN! There's no discussion needed past their relegating women to second-class citizen status."

Kirsten Moore
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Removed due to duplication. 

Kirsten Moore
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Per the statement made by Brendon Smith, we are adding comments that come in via our Contact Us page and Customer Comment slips anonymously. Here is a comment that came in on 07/06/2014:

"If Eden Foods is going to follow in the footsteps of Hobby Lobby - please discontinue their products. Eventhough their food is completely amazing, it doesn't matter. Thank you."

Kirsten Moore
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Per the statement made by Brendon Smith, we are adding comments that come in via our Contact Us page and Customer Comment slips anonymously. Here is a comment that came in on 07/09/2014:

"Please do not carry Eden products anymore."

Kirsten Moore
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Per the statement made by Brendon Smith, we are adding comments that come in via our Contact Us page and Customer Comment slips anonymously. Here is a comment that came in on 07/06/2014:

"I would like to see the coop stop carrying Eden Organics due to the CEO's idiocy + lack of support for the ACA mandates. Please find another brand of equal quality - will will miss their products but not their politics."

Kirsten Moore
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Per the statement made by Brendon Smith, we are adding comments that come in via our Contact Us page and Customer Comment slips anonymously. Here is a comment that came in on 07/06/2014:

"Boycott Eden products."

Kirsten Moore
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Per the statement made by Brendon Smith, we are adding comments that come in via our Contact Us page and Customer Comment slips anonymously. Here is a comment that came in on 07/09/2014:

"I support boycotting Eden Foods. It is a difficult position for the Co-op to have to weigh human rights against food purity, but I think in this case human rights are more important. Potter's mysogynistic comments in support of his policy and lawsuit were the last straw for me. I don't think our Co-op shoudl show support for a corporation to inflict religious beliefs on its employees, especially not on the reproductive choices of women. Also, choosing not to reproduce is of great importance in a sustainable ecosystem. Uncontrolled population growth is a threat to our planet, and preventing women from choosing not to reproduce will not help us acheive a healthy balance in the ecosystem."

Kirsten Moore
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Per the statement made by Brendon Smith, we are adding comments that come in via our Contact Us page and Customer Comment slips anonymously. Here is a comment that came in on 07/07/2014:

"Please keep EDEN SALT. The only bulk salt is from the fucashima Pacific; radiated. If you decide not to continue EDEN products, PLEASE carry some bulk salt from the Atlantic or clean marshes."

Kirsten Moore
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Per the statement made by Brendon Smith, we are adding comments that come in via our Contact Us page and Customer Comment slips anonymously. Here is a comment that came in on 07/01/2014:

"Stop carrying Eden brand. They, along with Hobby Lobby, are a group of many now legally refusing birth control to women in their company health insurance."

Kirsten Moore
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Per the statement made by Brendon Smith, we are adding comments that come in via our Contact Us page and Customer Comment slips anonymously. Here is a comment that came in on 07/02/2014:

"Please stop carrying Eden Foods Inc. products. Their views on women's reproductive freedom are inconsistent with the progressive values held by most Co-op members and in light of the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling - unbelievable. I would also encourage Willy St. to exert its influence on its sister coops here in the midwest to drop Eden Foods as well."

Kirsten Moore
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Per the statement made by Brendon Smith, we are adding comments that come in via our Contact Us page and Customer Comment slips anonymously. Here is a comment that came in on 07/06/2014:

"Please STOP carrying Eden Food Products! I will no longer purchase them, or want to support their company. Thanks!"

Anne Linkert
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Like using contraceptives, the decision to boycott should be a personal one based on known facts and a moral compass.  Please leave Eden products on the shelf.  If enough owners make the personal choice to boycott then sales will be down.  If sales slip far enough, the products will not be re-ordered. Just as Eden shouldn't impose religious beliefs or values on its employees, our co-op should not impose a boycott on all our owners.

David Deavers, Ca...
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Please add our family to the list. We would love the co op to stop carrying eden brand foods. They have the right 

to do what they did , we have the right not to buy them or shop at places that sell them. Please stop selling eden foods.....

Richard Slone, Sa...
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Since WSGC is likely a fairly significant customer of Eden foods, I'm wondering if there's a way to talk or work with them regarding changing their policy. Might there be an association of Cooperatives that could agree to do the same? I would support a boycott if Eden is unbending in their position. However I also think their contribution to organic standards, excellent product line and hardships a boycott would place on staff attempting to come up with alternatives deserves to be looked at. I'm wondering if the threat of a broad based boycott might be enough to incent them to reconsider their sexist policies and positions. 

Richard (Sich)

Steven Wundrock, ...
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I would like to say that my wife and I have been frequent consumers of Eden products in the past, but we will not continue purchasing those products going forward. We would also like to add our voices to the group of individuals asking the Co-Op to discontinue stocking Eden brand products.

Steven Wundrock, ...
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I would like to say that my wife and I have been frequent consumers of Eden products in the past, but we will not continue purchasing those products going forward. We would also like to add our voices to the group of individuals asking the Co-Op to discontinue stocking Eden brand products.

Vassil Peytchev
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I support a boycott of Eden Foods products. I agree with others that this is not a political issue, but rather a human rights issue.

Russell Jungwirth...
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We strongly support a boycott of Eden Foods products, and look forward to a replacement brand. Like others, I have already stopped buying their hate beans! ~Miriam

Ali Trevino-murph...
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I strongly support the coop boycotting Eden Foods. Institutional boycotts are far more effective than individual boycotts, and the owners of Willy St Coop have the power to make real impact here through collective action.

Jack Hamilton
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I used to live in Ann Arbor, where Eden began. It did not have a good reputation as an employer then (mid '70s - early '80s). Around 1980 they moved out of town, to Chelsea, if I remember right, and nearby Clinton, likely for tax reasons. They also had a fire. When this situation arose about the health care act I was slightly surprised, but it is not out of character. American soy is bad for you anyway, so I support a boycott. I haven't bought any Eden products since the '90s.

One of the nice things about Willy St. Coop is that new products appear all the time, and entrepreneurs are innovating constantly to provide quality food, supplements, and related goods and services. Eden would be a better fit for the other two "natural foods" stores in Madison. Especially the one known as Whole Paycheck.

It is worth mentioning that Willy St. Coop is a national leader in the alternative grocery industry in a number of ways. Removing products from a regressive employer is another way for the coop to stand for civilization. When Willy St. leads, others will follow. More employers will be inspired to offer full health insurance.

Another thing worth mentioning is that using religion as an excuse to constrain health benefits is likely a grandstand play of some kind, similar to what the CEO of Whole Paycheck did. In other words, it's fake. People of a certain persuasion for some reason cannot abide the Affordable Care Act, a moderate effort in making health care more affordable. The worst employers hate paying their employees anything, and fight tooth-and-nail when any "government" requirement or regulation comes their way. They show their true colors when a case like this appears, and it is a perfect opportunity to say to them "So long, it's been good to know ya."