Honest Products

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.

See our list of acceptable and unacceptable ingredients for food
salt and spices

CERTIFIED ORGANIC RETAILER

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.

farmer on tractor

CERTIFIED ORGANIC

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.

corn on the cob

GENETIC ENGINEERING TRANSPARENCY

PCC has been advocating for genetically-engineered (GE) food and ingredient transparency for two decades. Under the rules of the National Bioengineering Food Disclosure Standard (NBFDS), the federal law and regulations on GE labeling finalized in 2018, we will be required to label certain categories of foods.

While we are disappointed with the NBFDS and will continue to advocate for a stronger GE labeling framework, we plan to provide the greatest transparency possible under the federal law and will also encourage our vendors to do likewise in labeling their products.

Additionally, PCC continues to enforce our 2012 policy that requires any new products with ingredients that are high-risk for being GE to be certified organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, or non-GE/GMO verified through an approved certification. If a company cannot provide confirmation, we will not carry the product.

Mandatory compliance with the NBFDS is required by January 1, 2022. PCC will focus on compliance, clear communication, and exploring how we can provide the most transparency to our shoppers.


PCC GE Ingredient and Labeling Standard >


GE Ingredient and Labeling Standard FAQ >

person holding chocolate cake

Fair Labor

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.

Read our Fair Labor standards
carrots covered in dirt being pulled from soil

Compost and soil amendments

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 keeping a close eye on 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.

PCC Packaging Initiative

Responsible packaging, zero waste. That is our goal.

learn more

Our standards by department

farmer holding tomatoes

PRODUCE

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.

farmer holding chicken

ANIMAL WELFARE

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.

Read PCC's animal welfare standards
fresh caught salmon

SEAFOOD

All fresh and frozen seafood at PCC comes from responsible sources as defined by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program. This means fisheries or aquaculture operations are rated a Green Best Choice, Yellow Good Alternative or are eco-certified to a standard recognized by Seafood Watch. The only exception is Chinook salmon, which is sourced according to our more specific PCC Chinook Sourcing Standard.

In creating its assessments and rating system, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program considers a variety of factors associated with seafood production, including catch method, bycatch and impacts on the natural habitat.

PCC’s standards also consider consumer health. We will not sell seafood species known to be high in mercury or other contaminants, and we will not accept seafood processed with any toxic chemicals used to prevent thaw drip or preserve color.

Additionally, our farmed seafood selection is carefully curated. We will never sell carnivorous species or fish raised in net pens, and any farmed finfish or shellfish must be raised without the use of pesticides, antibiotics or genetically engineered feed.

The majority of our seafood comes from the USA, in part to avoid seafood procured by illegal fishing and practices that exploit workers in other parts of the world.


PCC Finfish, Shellfish, Crustacean, and Cephalopod Standard >


Finfish, Shellfish, Crustacean, and Cephalopod Standard FAQ >

Chinook Salmon Standards

The PCC Chinook Sourcing Standard, developed by experts at the National Fisheries Conservation Center (NFCC), support a place-based sourcing strategy for Chinook salmon. This assures consumers that purchasing these fish does not deplete Southern Residents’ main food supply.

Using a three-tier rating system, fisheries and supporting hatcheries are evaluated to ensure harvesting Chinook is not intercepting prey for Southern Residents or depleting salmon stocks. Since incomplete knowledge and insufficient data is always a risk, suppliers must be able to show a high level of confidence in their data for avoiding prey interception or stock depletion.

Additionally, PCC will only sell Chinook salmon from fisheries that receive an A in the Prey Interception Risk category and an A or B in the Stock and Knowledge risk categories. Because of the unique rigor and regional focus of this independent standard, Chinook sold by PCC is evaluated separately from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program.


PCC Chinook Sourcing Standard and Rating Guidelines Report >


Chinook Sourcing Standard FAQ >


Columbia River Chinook Sourcing FAQ >


Chinook Salmon Fishery Evaluation Reports >

dairy cow

DAIRY

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.

Eggs

EGGS

The whole, fresh chicken eggs found on our shelves are laid by hens that spend at least six hours per day outside, soaking up sunshine and stretching their wings. This is just the minimum requirement — we believe that hens should truly roam green pastures. So in addition to our free-range options, PCC offers a variety of fresh eggs from pasture-raised hens. Our own PCC Organic Pastured Eggs come from Wilcox Family Farms in Roy, Washington, where hens are raised in mobile hen houses that are regularly moved to fresh pasture.


PCC Laying Hens and Whole Eggs Standard >


Laying Hens and Whole Eggs Standard FAQ >

Palm Done Right Farm

Palm Oil

Palm oil is used widely in all types of consumer products, from baked goods to soap. It’s also associated with massive ecological destruction. When it is harvested in a manner that doesn’t contribute to deforestation and human exploitation, palm oil can be a very sustainable option, yielding high quantities of oil with relatively low carbon emissions.

PCC identified palm oil as an issue of high concern in 2016 and we have been actively researching the topic and exploring steps to address palm oil in our supply chain. Given its prevalence in the market and potential positive impact if ‘done right,’ we determined that PCC should focus on supporting sustainably sourced palm oil, rather than seeking to eliminate palm oil from our supply chains.

Our first step is to ensure the products we have control over contain sustainably sourced palm oil. PCC kitchens obtain their palm shortening and oil from Palm Done Right, which sets some of the highest standards for sustainable palm. While the supply of sustainable palm isn’t large enough to accommodate all companies yet, PCC encourages vendors to use sustainably harvested palm oil as much as possible. By working with Palm Done Right and our vendor partnerships, PCC aims to help encourage and grow the supply of sustainable palm.


PCC Palm Oil Standard >


Palm Oil Standard FAQ >

Bath and body care

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.

See our list of acceptable and unacceptable ingredients for health and body care
bottles of spirts

BEER, WINE AND HARD CIDER

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.

bouquet of flowers

FLOWERS

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.