Safe(r) Spaces Policy
This policy is a living document. We will update it periodically to include changes as they come up in the course of our learning and growing as an organization. We will formally review and update it at least once per year via committee review and community feedback survey. We are always open to feedback and input from our community at any time.
Fireweed Food Co-op (FFC) strives to create and foster welcoming community spaces for people of all ages, gender identities, cultural identities, abilities, and sexual orientations. We encourage everyone within these spaces to join us in this effort, and we will not tolerate any forms of discrimination, oppression or harassment, including but not limited to: sexism; racism; white supremacy; homophobia; xenophobia; transphobia; classism; ableism; fatphobia or ageism.
If you witness or experience harm, harassment or discrimination in our spaces, we will do our best to intervene or respond in a safe and non-escalatory manner. There are many ways to notify us of an incident: in person to one of our staff or volunteers, via an anonymous Safer Spaces feedback box at the SOFM, via an anonymous online form, or via email to our ombudsman at email@example.com
*An ombudsman is an individual in the organization most separate from the public who will receive reports privately and will exclude staff, volunteers or board members from the enforcement proceedings when necessary.
What We Expect from Our Community
Our community includes all those who are present in Fireweed Food Co-op spaces, including Farmers Market vendors, Farmers Market attendees, anyone (including Suppliers) visiting or working in our Food Hub warehouse as well as Fireweed board, staff and volunteers.
A thriving and inclusive food system starts with mutual respect, cooperation and generosity, and therefore we expect the best from our community members.
At the very least, this includes treating one another with decency, respecting physical and emotional boundaries, and using correct names and pronouns at all times.
However, while we always expect the best, there are some types of behaviours that will never be tolerated in our spaces and may merit removal from the space. They include but are not limited to:
Cultural Appropriation, i.e., the selling of a product from another culture’s spiritual or cultural symbols, or traditions. (E.g. Dreamcatchers, Smudge sticks, Ceremonial Sage, Mandalas, Eagle feathers
Bindis, bannock, etc.
Harassment of any kind, including unwanted sexual attention, persistent microaggressions in the form of jokes or silencing comments, unwanted physical contact, or aggressive behaviour of any kind.
Transphobia or homophobia, including jokes, derogatory language or the intentional misuse of someone’s pronouns. Please remember to ask or use they/them pronouns if you are unsure of someone’s proper pronoun. Please consider helping normalize the asking of someone's pronouns, or use they/them pronouns if you are unsure.
Name-calling or slurs, including racist, ableist, prejudice, classist or fatphobic jokes, images or comments.
We also have detailed agreements for the Vendors of SOFM and Suppliers to Fireweed Food Hub which go into greater detail about our expectations on these matters, as well as other considerations including the fair treatment of workers.
What Our Community Can Expect from Us
Fireweed Food Co-op will strive at all times and in an active way to ensure that our spaces are as safe, inclusive, accessible, welcoming and fun as possible for everyone! We are currently in the process of developing staff and volunteer training for the summer market season that will help us uphold our safe(r) spaces policy and respond to incidents in a non-violent and de-escalatory manner.
We are committed to listening and being open to criticisms about the ways we do things. We acknowledge that anti-oppression work is ongoing and requires self-reflection which can be uncomfortable at times. When criticism or complaints about our conduct or policies arise, we promise to do our best to create the appropriate spaces for dialogue and to take follow-up action in good faith.
If a community member behaves in a way that is against the spirit of this policy or causes harm to anyone, FFC staff or volunteers will take appropriate action, including possibly asking that party to remove themself from the space temporarily, or even permanently as per the process outlined below.
While we acknowledge the limitations of our ability to enforce these rules, we will commit to exhausting all alternative options to calling the police for any incidents or disturbances, acknowledging that for many in our community, the police present a greater threat than they do a solution.
To this end, we have created a clear procedure for reporting harm or grievances which prioritizes the needs of the person who has been harmed. We are also working on gathering a group of local community members near the Farmers Market who might be interested in being "on-call" to support in the case an incident arises.