Two locations in Jacksonville, FL: 11030 Baymeadows Road, Jacksonville FL 32256; 10000 San Jose Blvd, Jacksonville FL 32257
Owner: Aaron Gottlieb
Founded in: 1996
Organic Sales: Overall store sales are over 70% organic. Produce sales are 100% organic.
Manufacturer CommunicationNative Sun has five staff members dedicated to product research, who meet regularly to review new products and analyze the ingredients for possible GMOs. Researchers discuss inert ingredients and their sources, and keep an updated handbook listing ingredients that are allowed and those that are banned. The list of banned ingredients goes far beyond GMOs and includes chemically processed starches, titanium dioxide, grades of carrageenan and caramel color, to name a few. Manufacturers are questioned about any product containing ingredients such as soy lecithin and cornstarch. Those products are accepted only if the manufacturer sourced the suspect ingredients from non-GMO sources or determined from testing that the products are GMO-free. Native Sun uses only organic and non-GMO ingredients in its juice bar, deli and gluten-free bakery. Meat and seafood is either grass-fed (beef) or wild or Clean Fish Alliance-certified (seafood). Products that contain antibiotics are banned from the store even if they have been verified to be GMO-free. The store is working with the supplements and health and beauty product manufacturers to establish clearer standards, but this is proving challenging.
Product Removal ProcessManufacturers are making changes in products to meet better safety standards as a result of the questions we ask. After doing this kind of research for over a decade, Aaron says he has seen hundreds of products changed in order to meet the store’s standards. He credits his staff and company with not only keeping GMOs off the store shelves, but also with influencing national brands to transition to GMO-free.
The store has Non-GMO Project labeled foods. The store does not label any products that may contain GMOs, any suspect products are removed from the store immediately. Native Sun Natural Foods Market stores are Non-GMO Project Participating Retailers.