PCC Community Markets Launches Inclusive Trade Program

2023 News

Businesses choose to self-identify in program designed to build a more inclusive and equitable food system for all.

(SEATTLE, June 1, 2023)PCC Community Markets (PCC or “the co-op”) — the largest community-owned food market in the U.S. and one of Seattle’s original grocers — today debuts the PCC Inclusive Trade Program, a new product standard designed to increase awareness of and support for businesses owned by individuals who identify as members of historically and currently excluded communities. PCC’s Inclusive Trade Program recognizes suppliers who self-identify as belonging to one or more of the standard’s categories, including Women-Owned; Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) or Person of Color (POC)-Owned; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and/or Transgender (LGBTQIA+)-Owned; Veterans and Service-Disabled Veterans-Owned or Persons with Disabilities-Owned. There is also an option for suppliers who meet the category requirements to opt into the program without specifying a category.

“As a result of historic and continued prejudice, these communities are deliberately disadvantaged and face barriers in starting businesses and expanding market share,” said PCC Senior Director of Merchandising Justine Johnson. “The co-op’s mission is to ensure that good food nourishes the communities we serve while cultivating vibrant local, organic food systems. As PCC enters its 70th year, we acknowledge our role in systemic and historical exclusion of people of color, LGBTQIA+ individuals, women, veterans, persons with disabilities, and others as we begin to help break down those barriers. The launch of Inclusive Trade is one step. We have a long journey ahead to create lasting change, and PCC looks forward to continuing to learn from our suppliers, members, and broader community on how to improve and evolve our program.”

Participating vendors and suppliers are identified and celebrated through PCC’s in-store and online shopping experiences so consumers can select businesses and products from communities they wish to support or see themselves represented in.

“It is truly an honor,” notes XOBC Cellars Founding Partner Jeri Andrews, “to participate in PCC’s Inclusive Trade Program. The reason Brandi and Catherine Carlile, my wife, Amy, and our winemaking partner Sean Boyd chose to showcase the fact that our winery is women and LGBTQ owned is because we believe representation matters. In an industry where less than 6% of wineries identify as women owned, and less than 2% identify as LGBTQ+ owned, we believe XOBC provides an opportunity for consumers to truly shop their values. The ethos of this program matches ours in that we are striving to make advances in true diversification and representation. Our profits benefit Looking Out Foundation, so we stand firmly behind our sentiment that raising a glass can make a difference, too.”

The adoption of Inclusive Trade advances PCC’s commitment to Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI).

PCC Statement of Equity and Inclusion

PCC Statement of Equity and Inclusion

Earlier this spring, PCC debuted its first-ever statement of equity and inclusion — a core building block in support of its JEDI work — in the 2022 Co-op Purposes Report, Part One: Responsible Sourcing, Regenerative Operations, and Community Food Systems. It is one of many first steps PCC is taking in the practice of centering JEDI in all parts of the co-op.

This process is a continuous collaboration between all PCC teams and stores. The co-op’s JEDI Advisory Council consists of expertise from store leadership, Human Resources, Merchandising, and Marketing + Purpose that guides the three pillars of PCC’s JEDI practice: culture, consumer and community. Together, the Council developed a statement that acknowledges PCC’s recognition of and commitment to justice-centered change within the co-op and community food systems.

PCC is committed to welcoming people of all identities, cultures and backgrounds. As a triple bottom line cooperative, our vision, mission and values stand firmly rooted in the nourishment and well-being of our planet, its people and communities. While racism and colonialism continue to play a significant role in shaping food systems, PCC is committed to cultivating justice-centered relationships that do not exploit. PCC does not tolerate bigoted behavior within our community. Accordingly, we take action to foster a safe and inclusive environment.

In alignment with the Inclusive Trade program and standard, the statement now serves as a guiding directive for our actions, work and approach.

Product Representation on Shelves

Product Representation on Shelves

In collaboration with food cooperatives across the U.S., PCC’s Inclusive Trade Program follows in the footsteps of one founded by the National Co+op Grocers (NCG) in 2022. With today’s introduction of Inclusive Trade to the Pacific Northwest, PCC is the largest food co-op in the nation to adopt and expand this program.

It is also the only one to date to build a more robust program and accompanying standard to guide it. For enrollment in PCC’s program, vendors must complete an affidavit verifying that they meet the program requirements. Non-local suppliers are required to obtain a certification from an agency that certifies businesses as owned by individuals from historically and currently excluded communities. To minimize barriers to enrollment, local vendors only need to fill out the checklist, but they do not need to be certified. That checklist will also serve as a way for PCC to gather feedback on the program and identify opportunities for improvement.

It is an active step towards creating an intentional space for better recognition, elevation and inclusion within the marketplace. Businesses must be at least 51% legally owned, operated and controlled by individuals who self-identify as Women-Owned, BIPOC or POC-Owned, LGBTQIA+-Owned, Veterans and Service-Disabled Veterans-Owned or Persons with Disabilities-Owned. As the program evolves, PCC will work with its partners to identify additional categories to offer a more complete and individualized representation of cultures and identities.

Over 60 businesses representing over 615 products have opted into PCC’s Inclusive Trade Program, with more expected to self-identify as new brands are onboarded. Some of those LGBTQIA+-Owned businesses are OrcaSong Farm, Tieton Farm & Creamery, XOBC Cellars and Wunderground Coffee as the co-op celebrates Pride Month.

“When I founded Cupcake Royale 20 years ago, I was ‘out’ to my friends, but most people didn’t know that it was Lesbian-owned business,” said Cupcake Royale and Wunderground Coffee CEO and Founder Jody Hall. “To build awareness of and support for my community, we took a bold move in 2009 to create The Gay cupcake to fundraise for the It Gets Better Project. In this move, I publicly outed myself. The outpouring of love from Seattle and across the country eclipsed the hate and threats. It also brought my business into alignment with my mission to be inclusive and kind to all people. Today, it’s beyond heartwarming and validating to see Inclusive Trade be an option for shoppers to support communities that are near and dear to them. We at Wunderground, my new company, are honored to be featured with PCC as they embark in this emerging area of Inclusive Trade.”

“As an LGBTQ+ owned farm, we have the privilege of growing crops for essential oils on beautiful Orcas Island, which is a very supportive community for being who you are,” added OrcaSong Farm Founder David Dotlich. “We believe it is important to publicly stand for inclusion and diversity, and to let people know that Queer Farmers exist, are thriving in the Pacific Northwest, and can make some amazing products from what we grow.”

Upholding PCC Standards

Upholding PCC Standards

PCC is trusted for its strong product sustainability and quality standards, such as being a Certified Organic retailer and prohibiting harmful petroleum-derived ingredients in foods and health and body care products.

PCC will not make exceptions to existing standards, but the co-op will work with any future Inclusive Trade suppliers to support them in meeting its standards. Inclusive Trade encompasses considerations to minimize the barriers to participation for local, and often smaller businesses, producers from Washington, Oregon, Idaho and southern British Columbia.

“PCC has always been committed to inclusiveness, to elevating marginalized communities, and to widening access to sustainably sourced products,” said PCC CEO Krish Srinivasan. “While there is a lot that remains to be done, our co-op is deeply committed to forging pathways for a more inclusive marketplace and a more equitable food supply system.”

Explore more about Inclusive Trade, program FAQs, and the brands that are led by women, BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, veterans and persons with disabilities.


About PCC Community Markets 

About PCC Community Markets

Founded in Seattle in 1953, PCC Community Markets (PCC) is a certified organic retailer and the nation’s largest community-owned food market. With an active membership of more than 110,000 members, PCC is committed to a triple bottom line that balances environmental, social and economic goals while reducing environmental impacts and giving back to its community. PCC is a haven for those who share a dedication to fresh, organic, seasonal food that is sustainably sourced from over 800 local producers, farmers, ranchers and fishers. The co-op’s mission is to ensure that good food nourishes the communities it serves, while cultivating vibrant, local, organic food systems. PCC operates 16 stores in the Puget Sound area, including the cities of Bellevue, Bothell, Burien, Edmonds, Issaquah, Kirkland, Redmond and Seattle. Seattle stores are in the neighborhoods of Ballard, Central District, Columbia City, Downtown, Fremont, Green Lake, View Ridge and West Seattle. The co-op also plans to open a new store in Madison Valley. In 2021, PCC gave more than 65% of pretax earnings to members and the communities it serves. This includes the co-op’s member dividend and support of nonprofits around the Puget Sound area such as Ventures, Washington Farmland Trust and FareStart.

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