Organic Valley: Our Co-op

Co-op of the Month: July

In recognition of the International Year of Cooperatives, we will be sharing the stories of different cooperatives throughout the year. This month, we're highlighting PCC Natural Markets. Read on and enjoy!

PCC Natural Markets

We consider ourselves lucky to work with so many mission-aligned cooperatives across the country. PCC Natural Markets, based in Seattle, Washington, is a terrific example of what we love best about cooperatives.

PCC began as a food-buying club of 15 families in 1953. Today, PCC has nine stores in the Puget Sound region and is owned by more than 46,000 members who shop PCC stores and value their cooperative’s commitment to supporting local, sustainable agriculture by connecting members and shoppers to farmers and vice versa.

We are grateful to PCC for their tremendous efforts on behalf of organic farmers and all citizens who benefit from the availability of delicious, safe, healthy foods. Here are highlights of two of the many value propositions this cooperative grocer adds to its communities:

PCC Farmland Trust

CROPP Cooperative / Organic Valley is proud to support the efforts of this crucial organization, which was founded by PCC in 1999. What could be more important than making sure organic farmers can remain on their land so that our food supply is protected into the future? That very need is what drove the formation of PCC Farmland Trust, now an independent nonprofit, 501 (c)(3). The Trust’s mission is to secure, preserve and steward threatened farmland in the Northwest, ensuring that generations of local farmers productively farm using sustainable, organic growing methods. The Farmland Trust takes its mission one step further by working to place farmers on rescued property. To-date, the Trust has saved nine working farms totaling 1,049 acres.

PCC Kid Picks

In 2004, PCC’s Community Relations Team put together the Kid Picks program. During tastings for kids at PCC stores, community centers, schools and various events, kid “judges” are empowered to vote and to ask questions and talk about what they think of the products PCC sells. Each of the more than 2,000 Kid Picks items in PCC stores is flagged with a bright orange tag bearing the Kid Picks logo, making it quick and easy for parents to identify foods they can feel confident their kids will like to eat. We’re extremely honored to know that nine Organic Valley products stocked in PCC markets are “kid approved.” Thank you, judges!

“We have sold Organic Valley products since the early 90s,” Scott Owen, PCC’s grocery merchandiser. “Organic Valley doesn't just give us great organic dairy options, they are locally produced, as well. OV is now among our top three vendors.” PCC’s Public Affairs Director, Trudy Bialic, adds “Organic Valley has done more to create and advance the organic marketplace than possibly any other brand in the country.”


Previous Co-op Features

June: National Farmers Organization

Forgive us if we get a little teary on this one, because this month’s profile highlights a partnership with an organization that was there for us from the get-go. While our partnership today with National Farmers Organization (NFO) is more equitable, we are nevertheless “joined at the hip,” as CROPP CFO Mike Bedessem likes to say.

Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op

All of our cooperative partners who work to get Organic Valley and Organic Prairie products from farm to table are crucial to our success. However, consumers don’t see the result of that hard work until they walk into stores like the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op and find our products on the shelves.

April: Farmers Cooperative Creamery and Darigold

Organic Valley's Northwest Pastures™ Milk goes from farms to tables across the northwest via a network of cooperatives that work with each other in spite of the fact that they are also competitors. This month we spotlight two fellow cooperatives who make our own regional milk program possible.

March: Equal Exchange

Who knew the purchase of some of the tastiest chocolate on earth or the finest “cupping” coffees could be so deeply satisfying? Equal Exchange fans tend to sum it up perfectly: “It’s easy to choose organic and fair trade when it tastes great!”

February: La Montanita Co-op

Founded in 1976 by 300 families seeking healthy food, La Montanita Co-op Food Market now tallies about 15,000 members and serves New Mexico out of six locations in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Gallup. Learn what sets La Montanita apart from your basic grocery store.

January: CROPP Cooperative

Most folks think of Organic Valley and Organic Prairie as sources of delicious and healthful organic foods. What they don’t know is that the key to our success is our cooperative business model known as Cooperative Regions of Organic Producer Pools (CROPP).

Everything's Better Together!

In recognition of the International Year of Cooperatives, we will be sharing the stories of different cooperatives throughout the year. Please join us this year to celebrate the benefits of working together!
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