When you walk through our doors, you know you’re in a good place.
A place where organic, fresh, local, seasonal and sustainable are always top priority. Where the shelves are honest, the staff is knowledgeable, and every product passes through the hands of our quality standards experts before it ends up in yours.
We choose organic because people, animals and waterways ought to be protected in every way possible. We’re a proud Certified Organic retailer and we partner with the Non-GMO Project, too.
What you won’t find in our aisles
Every food, supplement and body care product in our stores is screened against criteria based on feedback from shoppers like you and evaluated by our team of quality standards experts.
We don’t allow harmful artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, sweeteners, products of nanotechnology, or hundreds of other ingredients found in foods at other markets.
PCC Community Markets has chosen to be a certified organic retailer. This means we developed and implemented stringent procedures to ensure organic product integrity is maintained when our staff handles organic foods — preparing, wrapping, cutting, cooking or otherwise getting foods ready for sale.
Agents from the Washington State Department of Agriculture inspect our procedures annually in every store and audit our record-keeping to ensure product integrity is verifiable.
All foods labeled and sold as organic in the United States must meet the same USDA rules and standards — whether they’re grown abroad or in the United States.
USDA Organic Standards ensure practices that promote and enhance soil vitality and carbon sequestration, biological cycles, biodiversity and animal welfare.
Organic methods restore and enhance ecological harmony without toxic pesticides or fertilizers, genetic engineering, sewage sludge, or irradiation.
GENETIC ENGINEERING TRANSPARENCY
PCC pledged in 2012 to identify GE products in our stores with a target date of 2018. Our commitment has not wavered.
But since the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard was signed into law in 2016, we now will have to comply with its definitions and rules. To date, no draft rules have been revealed and that is delaying our own labeling plans. Understanding the possible limitations would determine how we can keep our commitment to identify GE products without conflicting with federal law. We hope the federal rule will be revealed soon.
U.S. organic standards prohibit genetic engineering in certified organic products and in the non-organic ingredients of foods labeled “Made with Organic.”
PCC Community Markets is committed to being a positive force in the lives of people who work in our supply chain. We will not tolerate child labor, forced labor, human trafficking, abuse or harassment.
We expect employers to meet or exceed legal requirements for labor practices, worker health and safety, and housing. We have created and adopted specific standards to avoid labor abuses common in the chocolate, banana, coffee and seafood industries.
When you buy compost or fertilizer for your garden, be aware that products labeled “organic” or “100 percent natural” may not comply with National Organic Standards.
USDA’s National Organic Standards do not regulate use of the term “organic” for commercial fertilizer and soil amendments. On these products, a label declaring “organic” means only that the product is carbon-based. Some “organic” fertilizers may contain undisclosed hazardous chemicals from industry waste, mining or other contaminated sources.
Consequently, PCC has adopted a standard for what we sell. All compost and soil amendments sold at PCC must be approved and registered for use in organic food production by the Washington State Department of Agriculture, OMRI, or another accredited certifying agent under the National Organic Program (NOP).
PRODUCTS FROM CHINA
Consumer skepticism about foods from China generally involves concern about contaminated soil and water, and lax oversight on food safety and quality standards. Is PCC skeptical about the integrity and safety of food products from China? The answer is a qualified “yes.”
While there have been a number of well-publicized recalls of Chinese imports, none of them involved organic foods for people. PCC sells no fresh produce from China and very limited frozen produce from China — and all of it is certified organic.
It’s likely there are Chinese ingredients in many multi-ingredient foods in our stores. But since the U.S. Country of Origin Labeling law was repealed in 2015 after a trade dispute in the World Trade Organization, traceability of foods from China has become very difficult. Regretfully, we don’t always have the product information we want.
PCC has advocated and supported country of origin labeling for many years.
Raise a spoon to raising standards.™
Our standards by department
Ninety-five percent of the produce sold at PCC is certified organic, supporting healthful choices for people and a healthier environment.
Our produce buyers always give preference to organic. They strive to offer organic produce that’s also locally grown, whenever possible.
Research shows that organic growing methods are gentler on the environment and that organic produce can contain higher levels of nutrients. Organic farms also offer safer working conditions for farm families, workers and neighbors.
At PCC, we believe the way humans treat farm animals is integral to our own general well-being and the health of our planet. We believe we have a responsibility to see that livestock are raised humanely, free of pain, fear, and psychological stress, and that they’re able to express their natural behaviors. We believe animals are capable of experiencing happiness and enjoyment of life. This is the foundation of PCC’s standards for animal welfare, among the strongest in the grocery industry.
We understand some consumers believe it’s unethical to consume any animal products and that taking an animal’s life for food cannot be considered humane. We accept that our role as a retailer is to provide the most humane choices for omnivorous shoppers.
All seafood at PCC meets the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch criteria for environmental sustainability. All our wild-caught seafood — fresh, frozen and canned — is from sustainable fisheries using methods that avoid bycatch and harm to the environment.
Our quality standards include criteria for consumer health. We won’t sell seafood species known to be high in mercury or other contaminants. Our farmed trout and shellfish are raised without antibiotics or pesticides and never are dyed with artificial colors. We do not accept shellfish raised with toxic pesticides, such as carbaryl and neonicotinoids, and none of our frozen seafood is treated with sodium tripolyphosphate (STPP), a suspected neurotoxin used to prevent “thaw drip,” give fish a slippery feel, and to add water weight to scallops and shrimp — misleading consumers who pay by the pound.
PCC’s fresh seafood comes from the USA only, in part to avoid seafood procured by illegal fishing and practices that exploit workers in other parts of the world. Some canned tuna at PCC is foreign-caught but vendors have provided written assurance that their operations are not engaged in labor abuses.
In addition to these broad standards, PCC doesn’t sell Chinook (King) Salmon caught in Washington, Oregon, or British Columbia. The Chinook that swim in these waters are essential to the diet of Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW). The SRKW, icons of the Pacific Northwest, are an endangered species facing many different threats. One of which is the dwindling supply of Chinook salmon, their main food source, in their Salish Sea habitat.
All of PCC’s fresh milk is certified organic or from cows raised on non-GMO feed. All our dairy farmers raise their cows on pasture without ionophores or other antibiotics endemic in the dairy industry. Several brands are from cows bred to produce A2 beta-casein, which some believe makes dairy more digestible.
All of PCC’s dairy, including cheese, butter and yogurt, is produced without the growth hormone, rBGH.
HEALTH AND BODY CARE
We believe the ingredients in supplements and body care products are as important as the ingredients in food. That’s why we look for products that are safer for people and the environment. We seek out products made from renewable ingredients that are fairly traded and produced without genetic engineering.
None of our body care products are tested on animals. All our sunscreens are safe for coral reefs without coral-killing ingredients, such as oxybenzone or octocrylene. We also don’t allow hundreds of other risky ingredients common in body care, such as parabens, phthalates or triclosan.
Hair colorants are exempted from the list of prohibited ingredients. PCC hair color brands are safer than those sold at other stores but there are no permanent hair colors without risky synthetic ingredients.
Our goal is to offer our customers beer, cider and wine from producers who farm and ferment with respect for the earth and the health of workers in the vineyards and fields. Producers of alcoholic beverages aren’t bound legally to list ingredients but we seek to do business with those who are transparent and use ingredients that uphold PCC standards.
We seek out flower vendors who are eager to transform the floral industry to a sustainable landscape. We’re happy to say we purchase directly from local flower growers as the seasons allow and from providers willing to verify sustainable growing practices.
All of our roses are certified by the Veriflora Sustainably Grown certification. It provides leadership for environmental protection and social responsibility in the cut flower industry.