As part of our commitment to transparency about the products we sell, we are currently investigating two global food issues that have been brought to our attention.
What makes both of these issues difficult to fully understand and verify is the fact they have happened far away — well, outside of our country. Our global food supply is a complex and complicated issue. In a perfect world, we would offer only local and regionally sourced products and eat those items in season. We realize that it’s not practical, or even how the majority of our owners and shoppers eat. It’s hard for us Midwesterners to think about getting through a winter without fresh fruit from somewhere warmer. The fact is, the farther away our food is grown or produced, the harder it is to look that farmer, or fisherman, or vendor in the eye and really know them. Our co-op is actually a very small player in a multibillion-dollar grocery industry, that’s ruled by large multinational corporations, driven first and foremost by low prices. It’s sadly not surprising to us that these sorts of issues are coming to light.
We will continue to ask questions on your behalf and be transparent about the foods we offer so you can continue to make informed choices.
Berry Sourcing Update - September 8, 2016
Calls to boycott have ended
Representatives from Familia Unidas por La Justica, the group representing workers at Sakuma Brothers Farms, WA, have officially called an end to a national boycott and related activities pertaining to the Driscoll’s Brand. The group has agreed to an election and negotiation process for a collective bargaining agreement with the farm. For more information visit https://boycottsakumaberries.com.
Berry Sourcing Update - July 11, 2016
Berry grower Sakuma Brothers Farms plans to give seasonal harvest employees a vote on representation by the Familias Unidas por la Justicia union. A date has yet TBD. READ HERE.
Berry Sourcing Update - May 24, 2016
A national boycott has been called for Driscoll's Berries. Outpost does not participate in boycotts. For more information about this boycott and our boycott policy, READ HERE.
Berry Sourcing Update - May 10, 2016
Some Driscoll’s berries sourced from Sakuma Farms, Washington, and BerryMex, Mexico, may be grown and harvested under poor working conditions and low wages. We do not sell berries from either grower. Outpost will buy berries from different wholesalers when both quality and availability make that possible. We may sell Driscoll’s berries from time to time in the event no other berry is available, and will continue to be engaged in the conversation with wholesalers and advocate for systemic change within the supply chain.
Shrimp Sourcing Update - May 9, 2016
To ensure customers that the fresh, frozen, and canned shrimp sold at Outpost is ethically and sustainably raised and harvested, we will only source this product from the United States — Texas, Florida or Oregon — or from countries of the Gulf of Mexico. READ MORE
Strawberry & Berry Sourcing Update - April 28, 2015
Our purchasing team continues to monitor the sourcing of berries. Currently, we have been trying to source berries from other vendors besides Driscoll's, however, due to market conditions related to poor weather, we have continued to source berries mainly from Driscoll's California in order to meet our customer demand. As market conditions improve, we hope to be able to offer a variety of berry vendors and will continue to seek out an alternate supply as they become available.
Tuna & Seafood Sourcing Update — March 30, 2015
It has come to our attention that some seafood sourced from Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines may have been caught using slave labor. This involves various vendors. Our research may lead us to suspend selling any products that have been implicated in this investigation until such time that the vendor in question can document their practices.
WHAT WILL OUTPOST DO:
We are currently reviewing all fresh and canned seafood to ensure that it’s been harvested by workers who are free, humanely treated and fairly compensated for their labor.
We are recommending shoppers choose Wild Planet/Sustainable Seas canned tunas, currently available in our stores.
We are adding American Tuna products, a company owned and operated by 6 American families that hand pack their line-caught tuna in Oregon.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: s.coop/1wjbn
Strawberry & Berry Sourcing Update – March 30, 2015
It has come to our attention that some berries sourced from Baja California, Mexico may be grown and harvested under poor working conditions and for low wages. This may involve various vendors, although Driscoll’s has been called into question. We are currently monitoring the situation and are working with our distributors, whenever possible, to offer berries grown in places other than Mexico.
WHAT WILL OUTPOST DO:
Our purchasing department will continue to monitor the situation in Mexico.
We will offer full disclosure and will educate our shoppers via signage, social media and on our website so they can make educated decisions about the food they buy.
We will continue to sell Driscoll’s fresh organic strawberries, and when possible choose berries grown in California over Mexico
Outpost does not participate in boycotts directly, however, should a bona fide boycott be called, we would — per our boycott policy — post information about the boycott so our shoppers are informed.
Earlier article from the LATimes:
Statement from Driscoll's:
Statement/Petition from the United Farm Workers:
For more information about Outpost's product policies: www.outpost.coop/about/policies/