Journal Spring 2018

The Value of Membership

March 13th 2018

by Vicki Reich, Executive Director Since I took the job of Executive Director just over a year ago, I have been looking for ways to increase the value you get from your membership in Provender Alliance.  I’m not implying that there wasn’t already a great deal of value in membership, I just feel that there is more that this small but scrappy organization can offer. Figuring out what members might value has been a lot harder to do than I [Read More]

From the Board of Directors

March 13th 2018

by Ian Stoy, Provender Board Secretary It’s March already and, as we begin to welcome the change of season into spring, we look forward to longer and warmer days. Next month your Provender Alliance  Board of Directors will meet for an in-person retreat so we can dig deeper and work toward growing your organization. Our work together will include a follow up of visioning to our theme for this Fall’s annual conference: Minding Our Mission, Finding Our Future.  These [Read More]

Small-Scale Farmer Issue Urgent Call to Save Fair Trade

March 13th 2018
FairWorld Project

by Dana Geffner, Fair World Project “Fair trade labels were initially launched on the market as a way to promote the products of democratically-operating organizations of small producers in the South more directly to consumers around the world.” This is just one of the key points in a recent statement laid out by the Small Producers’ Symbol (SPP), drafted and affirmed by its small-scale producer members at their 2017 General Assembly. There is no doubt fair trade has grown and [Read More]

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at the Community Food Co-op

March 13th 2018

By Amanda Grelock, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Coordinator Discussions on how create a more welcoming atmosphere in our stores for communities that are outside traditional co-op demographics are on the rise in co-ops around the country.  While cooperative values are clear as day when it comes to management and food, a path towards equity and inclusion for non-white communities has been elusive. In 2017, the Community Food Co-op in Bellingham, WA decided to analyze our blind spots and listen to [Read More]

The Importance of Staff Training in Food Service

March 13th 2018

by Michelle O’Connor, Moxie Consulting If you have ever worked in a Coop or Natural Foods Deli, I am sure you’ve experienced something close to this scenario. You show up for your first day of work in a ridiculously small kitchen filled with people and steam and fire and sweat. Immediately, you are put into a pop quiz scenario where you are introduced to at least 12 different people and expected to remember their names despite the fact that [Read More]

The Power of the 99%

March 13th 2018

by Justin Freeman, Owner, Bagel Sphere Five months have passed since many of us convened at last year’s Provender Conference in Hood River, Oregon. For those three days, retailers, processors, farmers, wholesalers, distributors, activists and downright fun and funky natural foods people all gathered to mutually inspire, educate, and connect. Over the years, I have come to treasure that time with all of you. My calendar has a Provender placeholder each October, a time when I leave the daily [Read More]

Hashtag Strategies to Amplify Your Brand on LinkedIn

March 13th 2018

by Victor Willis, Campbeltown Consulting Hashtags are an essential ingredient on Instagram’s visually centric platform. But LinkedIn, the world’s largest business network with over 500 million members, also employs hashtags and deserves your attention when it comes to marketing your brand. Admittedly the company has been slow to the table. But you can be an early adopter by using hashtags to your advantage. What are hashtags? Hashtags are words or phrases with a # in front of them and [Read More]

How to Become a B Corp

March 13th 2018

by Shandy Carroll, Sustainability Manager, GloryBee Being a B Corp means committing as a business to creating positive change. To do this, it means committing to following best practices, and checking our progress every two years against a global benchmark. At GloryBee we started this process in 2015, taking the Quick Impact Assessment (QIA) and working through the process with B Corp. One of the many benefits; fulfilling the assessment requires a high level of organization and planning, and [Read More]

Moisturizing Gardener’s Salve

March 13th 2018

By Mountain Rose Herbs Spring is a joyous time in the Willamette Valley. The sun shines more often than not. Crocuses, daffodils, and tulips burst forth and the garden begins to call. Unfortunately, weeding, planting and pruning can quickly take a toll on hands that have been tucked in warm pockets during winter storms. Particularly, if like us, you tend to toss your gloves aside to feel the earth between your fingers. After a long day of playing in the [Read More]

What HR Systems Audits Reveal

March 13th 2018
Carolee Colter

by Carolee Colter, CDS Consulting Co-op When I conduct human resources (HR) systems audits for clients, as part of the audit process I identify problems with personnel records and documentation, and recommend improvements. Here are some of the most common problems I’ve found: Insecurely stored records of former employees Most companies in my experience do a good job of keeping records secure for current employees. I find personnel files, payroll files and medical information maintained in locked file cabinets [Read More]

Nuns and Evil Genies

March 13th 2018

By Vicki Reich For the past 10 years, my friends and I have enjoyed a weekend retreat at the Monastery of St. Gertrude’s in Cottonwood, Idaho.  The Monastery is set on a hill overlooking the beautiful Camas Prairie and is home to about 50 Benedictine nuns. They are “committed to fostering Healing Hospitality, Grateful Simplicity and Creative Peacemaking in the world”. The nuns I have met are kind and seem genuinely happy to welcome us to their home, even if [Read More]