Product Standards

Our Product Standards reflect our Mission Statement: “The Ashland Food Co-op exists to serve our owners and our community by operating a socially responsible business that provides natural foods and quality products, emphasizing products which are locally produced, organically grown and ecologically sound.


The following ingredients in food products do not conform to AFC Product Standards:

  • Hydrogenated oils
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Bromated flour
  • Artificial sweeteners or preservatives
  • Artificial colors, flavors, or additives

Also prohibited are food products in which the primary ingredient is irradiated, extracted with chemical solvents or produced by cruel practices.


Our goal is to have a 100% GMO free store. The primary challenges to this goal are:

  • Current regulations do not require the labeling of GMO ingredients
  • GMO use is widespread.

Our strategy for achieving this goal:

Existing Products: Food products carried before 2014 must have no GMOs in the first three ingredients to conform to AFC Product Standards. Product managers will work to eliminate any remaining GMO ingredients from their existing product mix.

New Products: Beginning January 1, 2014, any new food products brought in must have no GMOs in any ingredient in order to conform to AFC Product Standards:

  1. New food products with any high risk ingredients* must be third party certified: Organic or GMO-free.
  2. A signed affidavit declaring GMO-free ingredients may be allowed for local vendors, in lieu of third party certification.

*High risk ingredients include all High Risk Crops as defined by the Non-GMO Verified Project. As of Sept 2013 these include: Alfalfa, Canola, Corn, Cotton, Papaya, Soy, Sugar Beets, Zucchini, and Yellow Summer Squash.  (What is GMO? Learn more here). Non-organic animal products that may have been produced using GMO feed are not currently classified by AFC as a GMO ingredient. Meat, dairy or egg products produced using antibiotics or hormones, such as rBGH (recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone), are classified by AFC as GMO ingredients.

Non-Conforming Products

Any food products that do not conform to AFC Product Standards must have a Product Standards Alert sign posted at the point of purchase.