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The Latest News from Wheatsville

Driscoll Berries

UPDATE 9/9/16:

As of this week , Familias Unidas por La Justica has officially agreed to an election and negotiation process for a collective bargaining agreement with Sakuma Bros Berry Farm and have called for an end of the boycott, and all boycott activities.

Here is the official statement:

Dear Supporters,

As of today we have officially agreed to an election and negotiation process for a collective bargaining agreement with Sakuma Bros Berry Farm. Thanks to your tireless efforts we are entering into this next phase of our union’s development with hope and determination. At this time we are calling for an end of the boycott, and all boycott activities. Out of respect for the process and our memorandum of understanding with the company please do not contact past, present or potential customers, purchasers, sellers or users of products coming from Sakuma Bros Berry Farm to convey criticism of any and all aspects of Sakuma’s business and operations.

Please stay tuned at the Familias Unidas por La Justica Facebook page for updates.

Thank you,
Ramon Torres
Felimon Pineda

Photo: Driscoll Website

We’ve recently received several comments from shoppers about a labor dispute involving some of the independent suppliers to Driscoll Farms. Some people are wondering why we carry Driscoll and some are asking that Driscoll brand organic berries be removed from the store altogether.  Because of the recent influx of comments, we thought it might be a good time to address your concerns and the co-op’s process around what we carry.

As a co-op we believe our biggest impact comes from supporting foods and products that support our BIG Direction Goals:

1) More Local Organic Sustainable Food

2) More Co-op Economy, and

3) More Happy People

Our co-op has been in operation for 40 years and part of the reason for our success in Austin is that we’ve always kept an open mind towards the way people shop and the food choices we make.

From a product standpoint, our emphasis has always been on the importance of local and organic. This means we are constantly pushing the needle towards consumer choices that support fair labor practices and environmental sustainability.

Our support of brands like Equal Exchange, Alaffia, Dr.Bronner’s, Organic Valley and many more, along with almost 2,000 local items means that in this way, we have made an important impact in creating a growing market for goods that support our co-op’s vision. By pro-actively supporting these kinds of items we are making both an ecological impact in our world and also a sociological impact in the communities that produce the goods. With these products we attain our win->win->win!
At the same time we strive to be a complete shop so that you can count on us to get the grocery items you and your families want and need. As a grocery store, we understand that we need to sell consistently high quality products and everyday basics. This means the choice of what to buy is yours. We stock the products you want and buy – it’s your responsibility to vote with your dollars and support the brands, foods, and company missions that are important to you. The co-op does not make that decision for you – we give you the choice.

Driscoll is a global company with a vast network of independent suppliers. The particulars of the issues at hand are complicated and, depending on where you look, you’ll find different perspectives. We encourage you to do your research through whichever channels you trust, and decide where you stand. For now, the co-op will continue to offer Driscoll organic berries when other berry brands are unavailable to us. We believe that in this way we are choosing to support organic and choosing to give shoppers a product that will meet quality expectations.

We appreciate all of our nearly 20,000 owners and shoppers’ patronage and THANK YOU for choosing to shop at your local, independent co-op.  We know that food is important to you – and that’s why we are still in business 40 years later.