Food co-ops stock a range of products bought according to their buying principles & factors. They are open to community, staff, students & members and generally stock a variety of bulk, minimally packaged products.
They are firmly grounded in an ethic of avoid, refuse, reduce, reuse and then recycle. For example, members are strongly encouraged to bring their own containers to fill with goodies. Food co-ops also aim to engage people with their food, by for instance weighing out and pricing and encouraging people to think about where their food comes from, how it is produced and under what conditions etc.