Seward Co-op dumps some products made by anti-birth control Eden Foods, cites poor sales

EdenProduct.jpg
Co-ops and groceries might not be boycotting Eden, but at Seward, a critical mass of customers are.
As local co-ops and groceries take heat for not dumping products made by Eden Foods, a Catholic-owned company under fire for refusing to provide birth control to its employees on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling, the response from places like Mississippi Market and the Seward Co-op has been largely the same -- they won't boycott, but urge customers to vote with their dollars.

Some are apparently doing just that at the Seward Co-op, and in response, management announced earlier this week that they've already stopped selling some Eden products.

See also:
Abortions at record low in MN thanks to health care access, contraceptive mandate, NARAL says

In the week after SCOTUS announced its Hobby Lobby ruling on June 30, sales of Eden products dropped 12 percent, Seward officials say on a post on the co-op's website. For the first four weeks of July as a whole compared to last year, sales of Eden products were down 15 percent.

"We've told customers through our comment system and via social media... [that] if Eden Foods products stop selling well, we'll stop buying them," Seward's web post says. "We tracked product movement in July, and Eden Foods sales have indeed slowed down... Several Eden Foods' products whose sales have slowed considerably have been discontinued altogether."

In addition to dropping some Eden products, Sean Doyle, GM of Seward Co-op, wrote Eden Foods President Michael Potter a letter urging him to "drop your lawsuit against Health and Human Services, and fund insurance coverage for contraception for all of your employees." (Read the full text on page two of this post.)

In related news, the Wedge Co-op recently published a statement outlining its position on the Eden Foods controversy. Like Seward and the Mississippi Market, the Wedge doesn't have a "boycott policy" and focuses on "issues surrounding food, farming, and the health of the soil" rather than health insurance.

"Co-ops are not the economic arm of progressive politics," the statement says. "We do not fire weapons in the culture war and do not have a contraception position or an insurance coverage position."

"There are shoppers who prefer Eden products because of the company's 40+ year track record on organic integrity, domestic sourcing and BPA-free packaging," it continues. "There are shoppers who just prefer the way those products taste. That is their choice. We are not in the habit of letting some owners decide what products other owners may purchase at their own co-op, other than that the products have to sell enough to earn their shelf space."

That said, the Wedge vows to track Eden sales, and to remove the company's products from its shelves if sales drop as they apparently have down Franklin Ave. at the Seward Co-op.

To read the full text of the letter the Seward Co-op's Doyle wrote to Potter, click to page two.



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22 comments
polarrev
polarrev

"...As an owner of Seward Co-op I am disappointed with the August 4th letter to Eden Food’s CEO Michael Potter. I respect and support the Co-op’s primary function as a conscientious and well-run purveyor of local, sustainable and organic foods. However, I object to the misrepresentation of me as an owner, and using the Co-op, primarily a natural foods store, as a platform with which to engage this political debate. The letter unabashedly announces the Co-op’s shift from tolerance of diversity in opinion and focus on shared food values to moral absolutism and ideological purity."

read the rest: https://polarrev.wordpress.com/

Lindsey Clarke
Lindsey Clarke

I hate this "it's their choice" culture. Sure, technically it is, but what's wrong is wrong and what you choose you choose collectively, even if you think it's selfish. Your actions are not your own. Ever. So no, it's not their goddamn choice. Sorry to burst your hard wires bubble of convenience and free will delusion

Holly Donald Caywood
Holly Donald Caywood

I started cooking beans from dry myself--it's cheaper. Now that I know this about Eden Foods, I'll be thinking twice before I buy their products!

Alethea Wiberg
Alethea Wiberg

Love to see people voting with their dollars! Money talks....

Abby Hermes
Abby Hermes

Ugh well who else makes canned black soy beans? I love them, they're even better for you than regular black beans...

Paulis Bruvelis
Paulis Bruvelis

silly US Tax dollars are supporting genocide on Palistinians, well your birth control is working in a way in Gaza.

henk.tobias0
henk.tobias0 topcommenter

"Co-ops are not the economic arm of progressive politics," the statement says. "We do not fire weapons in the culture war and do not have a contraception position or an insurance coverage position."

Bullshit! Co-ops, if they are to survive the coming onslaught of cheaper organics and local foods in the big chains, need to differentiate themselves from the big boys. Playing middle of the road politics is not going to do that, its going to make them just another grocery store. 


Besides this isn't about culture wars or having a position on contraception or insurance, its about women's rights. That this clown chooses to ignore that says a lot about him and does a disservice to the Co-op and its members. 


Unfortunately its becoming clearer that the Co-op movement has changed and things like market share and profits are starting to take precedent over doing what's right for the community.

David Gabrys
David Gabrys

The collision of politics and business. Turns out that if you're an asshole, what goes around comes around.

Jerm Wobbe
Jerm Wobbe

Good for Eden for staying true to values and morals, which most in Minneapolis do not have.

mm23
mm23

That makes absolutely no sense. Try staying on topic.


henk.tobias0
henk.tobias0 topcommenter

What a load. The Catholic Church and its supporters, lost the right to use the words values and morals several thousand sexually abuse children ago.

kindasnarky
kindasnarky

Freedom of religion does not mean you get to push your religious beliefs on everyone else. Also, I respect your beliefs why don't you start doing the same instead of grouping all of Mpls together as " not having values" just because theirs are different than yours. 

Love your neighbor as yourself, that's from your book right? 

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