Advancing Organics

When you shop with PCC, you’re not just buying good food — you’re also building a better future.

For decades, PCC has dedicated resources to advancing sustainable and organic production,
which helps create a better environment, a stronger economy and healthier communities.

PCC local + organic pastured eggs

Committed to Organics

We know today that organic production protects local ecosystems, farmworkers, and is healthier for communities. As one of the original organic grocers, PCC helped pioneer the sale of organic products in the Puget Sound region. In 1994, we brought organic eggs and milk to the Seattle market. Today, we offer thousands of organic products on our shelves and continue to expand our offerings.

We also are one of a handful of certified organic retailers in Washington state. This means we meet strict organic handling standards to ensure the organic products you choose remain organic from the farm to your shopping basket.

farmer on tractor

Advocating for strong organic standards

PCC helped influence the creation of organic standards in Washington state in 1985, which ultimately led to the implementation of the National Organic Program in 2002. Far from being static, the national organic standards are reviewed and updated regularly by the National Organic Standards Board. Our staff monitors developments in this arena, engaging and alerting members when action is needed. In 1997, PCC members provided more than 30,000 comments to the USDA regarding its proposed national organic standards, rejecting irradiation, GMOs and sewage sludge in organics. The comments represented about 10 percent of all comments received by the USDA.

PCC also is a member of the National Organic Coalition (NOC). This alliance of organizations provides a Washington DC presence for farmers, ranchers, environmentalists, consumers and industry members involved in organic agriculture. NOC helps create a united voice for organic integrity, advocating strong, enforceable, and continuously improved organic standards.

Join us in our work to advocate for strong organics standards by subscribing to our PCC Advocates email list.

pure eire dairy cow

Building the local economy

For years, our co-op has focused on building the local economy by supporting businesses that align with our commitment to sustainability. Many of our private-label products are developed in partnership with Northwest family businesses, such as Pure Éire Dairy, LaPierre Farms, and Moon Valley Organics.

We also are working to give new entrepreneurs the opportunity to grow their businesses. We partner with Ventures — a nonprofit organization that provides access to business training, funding, coaching and hands-on learning opportunities for entrepreneurs with limited resources. Our partnership provides Ventures’ clients with face-to-face time with our merchandisers and some stock their products in our stores.

nash produce farmer

Preserving farmland

Farmland in Washington state continues to be under severe development pressures. In 1999, PCC founded PCC Farmland Trust in order to protect local organic farmland. The trust saved its first farm in 2000, when 100 acres on the Olympic Peninsula were leased to master farmer Nash Huber and incorporated into his organic farming apprenticeship program. Since then, the trust has preserved more than 2,000 acres of land in our region and continues to advance the preservation of farmland while promoting sustainable and organic farming practices. PCC continues to support the trust, which is now a separate, self-supporting, nonprofit organization.

farm workers weeding crops

Advancing regenerative agriculture

When farmers use organic practices, they not only are growing food without pesticides, they also are managing soil. As scientists learn more about climate change, it’s clear the connection between soil health and the climate is hugely important. Healthy soil pulls carbon out of the atmosphere and retains more water during drought. PCC has worked with Washington State University for more than 15 years to help advance the understanding and teaching of organic and regenerative agricultural practices. In addition to this support, we also educate consumers about emerging “next generation organic” standards, such as the Regenerative Organic Certification and Beyond Organic Certification.

future farmer boy planting seed

Educating the next generation

Our world depends on the next generation to continue to build a more sustainable food system. PCC partners with Organically Grown Company to support a range of sustainable practices in the supply chain, including farm-to-school educational programs through sales of apples. When you buy a specially marked bag of apples at your neighborhood market, PCC donates funds to programs that help local kids understand how their food is grown. Our grant recipients have included Green Plate Special, Oxbow Farm and Conservation, and Washington Green Schools.