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Boycott Policy

(adopted 12/16/2014)

Purpose

To enable Owners to effectively address concerns related to products offered by Willy Street Co-op (the Co-op).

Guidelines

The Co-op is a consumer owned business; our products are selected based on our understanding of our Owners' interest and in accordance with a variety of criteria outlined in our Food and Product Selection Philosophy. Many concerns related to product can be addressed by simply removing the product due to low sales. Sometimes, a boycott is useful to make a point to a producer we would like to see perform better. In these cases, we recognize the boycott actions of other reputable organizations. Owners also have the right to object to the decision to carry product and the right to engage in advocacy pertaining to the removal of product.

Per our Bylaws and the Cooperative Principles, boycotts must be nondiscriminatory and nonpartisan in nature.

Recognized Boycott Actions

The Co-op will recognize boycotts called by qualified organizations upon their request and initiate a 14-day comment period for Owners to become informed and provide feedback. An organization must meet the following criteria in order for the Co-op to consider recognizing their boycott:

  • Organization must be nonpartisan, meaning that they must not endorse political parties or candidates.
  • Organization must be local or have a local chapter/division by our local definition (In Wisconsin or within a 150 mile radius from the Capitol).
  • Organization must have a mission statement that demonstrates a tie with the Co-op's Mission or Food and Product Selection Philosophy.

Owner Driven Boycotts

In the event that Owners wish to request that the Co-op engage in an organization wide product removal or boycott, Owners may comment via customer comment forms in-store, or via the Contact Us page on our website. Should the Co-op receive comments over a one year (365 day) period about a specific product or brand from one percent (1%) or more of the total Owners reported at the end of the last Fiscal Year, a 14-day comment period will be initiated for Owners to become informed and provide feedback.

The Co-op reserves the right to fact check and reply publicly to the collective summary of reasons Owners give for requesting to remove product or boycott.

14-Day Comment Period

The Co-op will start the comment period by posting a factual summary of the issues and either information about a recognized boycott or the collected comments of Owners in the Owner Resources Areas at all locations and on the Co-op website. Links to the information online will be provided on social media. The Co-op will also flag all affected product on the shelves in the stores, so that all Owners shopping the product are aware that we are seeking their input.

Owners will have an opportunity to log-in and comment publicly on our Website, or anonymously via our Contact Us page or customer comment forms in the stores. Comments from those who would like to be included in the conversation anonymously will be verified for Ownership by our staff and their comment will then be added to the public commentary online. Only one comment (the first comment made) per voting Ownership will be considered in the decision whether or not to boycott. 

The comment period is not a vote, it is an opportunity for Owners to provide feedback to staff regarding whether or not to take action regarding the product in question. Staff will use both sales trends, comments, and total numbers of Ownership participation when considering taking action. 

Boycott Outcome

The Co-op will decide what actions to take within 21 days of the conclusion of the comment period. Actions and outcomes will be posted online and in the following month’s newsletter. Any articles or letters the Co-op writes to companies or legislators or others regarding issues surrounding the product in question will be made public.