June 2024 Letters to the Editor

Share your views with other PCC members and shoppers by sending a letter to the editor for consideration to editor@pccmarkets.com. Letters that are printed may be edited before publication.

 

Compostable packaging

Hi! I have a question regarding the packaging for PCC deli items. Are the stickers compostable? I appreciate that the containers are compostable, but as far as I can tell the stickers are not. If that’s the case, then either the consumer would need to peel it off (which is time consuming), throw the entire container in the landfill, or put it in the compost bin (even though the sticker material contains plastic films or adhesives that aren’t compostable).

PCC replies: Thank you for asking about the labels on PCC deli items. While the actual labels are not compostable, our local composting facility, Cedar Grove, has assured us that labels of the size PCC uses on our compostable packaging are screened out during the composting process. Shoppers can put their PCC compostable deli containers in compost bins without removing the labels. (Cedar Grove, a PCC partner, does stress that it is important to remove small labels, e.g. stickers on pieces of fruit. More information on its process is online here.)

 

PCC elections

When I reviewed the candidates for this year’s board election, I was surprised and disappointed to discover that my vote (and the votes of all PCC members) will be pointless. There are four candidates who were allowed on the ballot, and four open positions. Thus, the PCC Board has effectively already chosen the future board members. The election itself appears to be for show.

If the PCC Board has determined that it will choose its own members without the community’s input, please be transparent about it. Please don’t hold an election that is meaningless. That is not a democracy.

PCC replies: Each year the PCC leadership team considers what skills on the Board of Trustees would be most valuable to them in navigating PCC’s short- and long-term strategic goals. The leadership team provides this evaluation to the Governance and Membership Committee (GMC) of the Board to use in soliciting applicants for the upcoming election. In 2023, informed by these priorities, the PCC leadership team determined that a trustee with executive-level experience in grocery merchandising, operations or supply chain management would be the most valuable addition to the Board.

In the 2024 election cycle, there were four seats on the Board up for election, and three of four Board incumbents (Donna Rasmussen, Laurae McIntyre and Rodney Hines) submitted applications to be considered to serve another term on the Board. After interviewing candidates for the Board, the GMC recommended one additional candidate, Joe Rogoff, be placed on the ballot along with the three incumbents. The Board chose not to place more candidates on the ballot than available seats because of the immense value that the three incumbent candidates would continue to bring to the Board, and because the additional candidate’s grocery expertise, combined with his passion for natural and organic foods, was a remarkably rare combination of qualifications that made him the most compelling candidate for the fourth open trustee position. Members always have the option to vote “no” on any candidate; those who do not receive a majority of “yes” votes will not be elected to the board. Trustee Megan Karch discussed the process in more detail in this Sound Consumer article if you would like to read more, and results from the 2024 election are online here.

 

Chick culling

Hi there, I was researching your line of PCC eggs and I wanted to reach out with a question about where PCC purchases their hens from. Does PCC buy chicks from a vendor that uses chick culling? I am trying to purchase eggs that are ethical. By all other accounts PCC eggs check all the boxes. But I want to avoid buying eggs from companies that participate in the slaughter of male chickens.

Thank you for your time!

Brian C.

PCC replies: Thank you for reaching out with these questions on PCC eggs.
The short answer is that PCC does not directly purchase chicks or hens. We have a partnership with Wilcox Family Farms to produce our Private Label eggs. The longer answer is that, as an egg producer, Wilcox purchases one-day old female chicks from hatcheries — and, unfortunately, chick culling is a widespread practice across the entire hatchery industry. Hatcheries need to supply egg producers with only females and have had no means of controlling the sex of the chicks or determining the sex prior to hatching. That said, change is in the works. The European Union has passed laws regulating hatcheries to ensure humane treatment of chicks, and hatcheries are investing money in new technology to minimize the number of male chicks and otherwise end the need for culling male chicks. These methods are being adopted more rapidly in Europe, but there is investment and interest among hatcheries in the United States to adopt these techniques as they become more refined and more available. In 2016, the board of the United Egg Producers, which represents about 90% of the egg production in the United States, called for elimination of chick culling and has been working with the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research toward that goal.

In terms of what one can do now, we would recommend focusing on the welfare of laying hens that are producing the eggs we enjoy. Misty Meadows, available at all PCC stores, is a local pastured operation that has a strong commitment to hen welfare, as is Palouse Pastured Poultry, available in all PCC locations except the Burien store, where we hope to add them soon.  Our Private Label eggs also come from hens raised with some of the highest welfare requirements; they have access to lush pasture and spend almost 100% of their time on it, thanks to Wilcox’s mobile hen houses.

We hope this helps you decide which eggs to purchase. We appreciate you sharing your concerns, it helps us better understand what our shoppers care about and how we can improve our standards.

 

Molly Moon Ice Cream

Could you let me know what the benefit is for PCC members at Molly Moon’s?

PCC replies: Thank you for asking about membership benefits! PCC members can enjoy one free waffle cone or topping when they buy a scoop of ice cream at any Molly Moon Ice Cream store. Learn more about the delicious business and about founder Molly Moon Neitzel in this article from the Sound Consumer archives. Other partner benefits and discounts can be found on our website at Partner Program | PCC Community Markets (pccmarkets.com).

Also in this issue

Get iconic recipes from PCC’s deli

There are stories behind some of your favorite PCC deli recipes – and you can make them at home.

Unmasking Food Industry “Barons”

From berries to coffee, a new book shows how a handful of corporations control a shocking percentage of the U.S. food supply.

Hop Frog Farm’s Microgreens Shape Sustainable Agriculture

From compostable packaging to Salmon Safe harvests, these microgreens are preserving land and improving the environment.