Celebrate co-op month
by Karen Gaudette
This article was originally published in October 2011
Cooperatives like PCC Natural Markets are more than just a business: They’re member-owned and -operated, a way to unite a community around a shared passion, need or idea, for mutual benefit. And in the case of PCC, that passion is high-quality food, sustainably grown and produced.
While everyone is welcome to shop at our nine Seattle-area stores, our 45,000-plus members also get the opportunity to help shape our future. Unlike other grocery stores, our profits return to members in the form of monthly discounts, are reinvested into improving our stores and selection, and help the communities we serve in the form of charitable donations, events and education.
Co-ops of all kinds offer plenty to celebrate during Co-op Month or any other time of year. You’ll find the products of several producer co-ops on our shelves, including Country Natural Beef, Equal Exchange, Organic Valley and the following trio. Learn more about how PCC works, and how to become a member.
Frontier Natural Products Co-op
Like co-ops the world over, this leading purveyor of organic herbs, spices and aromatherapy products strives to conduct every aspect of its business with integrity. Frontier sources its products from sustainable growers and has reduced its own impact on the environment with its carbon-neutral shipping program. PCC carries bulk and packaged herbs, spices and seasoning mixes from Frontier and Simply Organic, as well as Aura Cacia essential oils, bath products and massage oils.
Alaffia Sustainable Skin Care
This local (Olympia, Wash.) maker of lotions, shampoos and more in our health and body care department sources its rich, moisturizing shea butter from the Alaffia Shea Butter Cooperative it created in Togo, West Africa. Member/workers receive fair wages and are able to maintain and pass on their traditional knowledge of handcrafting shea butter. They are fully involved in community project planning and implementation for economic and social equality for their families and in their communities.
Seafood Producers Cooperative
The 500-plus fishermen of Seafood Producers Cooperative — the nation’s largest co-op of its kind — harvest, process and market hook-and-line caught halibut, sablefish, salmon, rockfish and albacore for retail and food service companies around the world. SPC is headquartered in Bellingham, Wash., with a fish processing facility in Sitka, Alaska. Its fishermen individually handle each fish caught in the name of quality over quantity. Find their Pacific Northwest pole-caught albacore tuna medallions in the frozen seafood section of your local PCC.