Journal Summer 2020

If I Had a Crystal Ball

June 28th 2020

by Abigail Harris – Executive Director, Provender Alliance If I had a crystal ball, I’d know the future landscape of the natural foods industry. But even without one, it is “beyond obvious” that we are now navigating through a rapidly changing society with dramatic industry ramifications.  We are seeing that sudden and seismic change is possible, in all directions. Within the natural products trade, I’m noticing the confluence of three pressing issues: The [Read More]

From the Board of Directors: The Strength of the Network that Holds us Together as an Alliance

June 28th 2020
Joe Wade

by Joe Wade – member Board of Directors, Provender Alliance I’ve tried to start writing this Message from the Board several times over the past weeks, only to find that events overtake anything that I say within a few days. This time I’m going to finish come hell or high water – but even as I say that I secretly worry that the next few days might just bring hell, high water, not to mention further outbreaks of Covid-19 and [Read More]

BIPOC Food Producers – Sowing the Seeds of Liberation

June 28th 2020

As a BIPOC-led alliance, HEAL Food Alliance is a multi-sector, multi-racial coalition building collective power to transform the food and farm systems. They are led by member-organizations and strive to amplify the experience and expertise of frontline communities who are most burdened by the disparities of our current systems. Members of the HEAL Food Alliance have previously presented at the Provender Alliance Annual Educational Conference. On June 18th, 2020, HEAL produced a powerful webinar: BIPOC Producers – Sowing the Seeds [Read More]

Collective Courage: A Short History of Black Co-operatives in America

June 28th 2020

by Lisa Barclay – Board Secretary, The Food Co-op, Port Townsend The long tradition of African American cooperation is not well known, and in her book Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice, Jessica Gordon Nemhard sets out to remedy that gap in our knowledge. From mutual aid societies to independent fugitive communities and from farmer cooperatives to consumer co-ops, Professor Gordon Nemhard details how people work together in the face of racism and active [Read More]

Regenerating the Land and Native Communities with Bison

June 28th 2020

By Dawn Sherman – CEO of Native American Natural Foods’ Tanka bar As the demand for meat continues to escalate during the COVID-19 Pandemic, the store shelves grow bare and the food supply system finally shows the cracks of a system of largess. I’m seeing how sustainable, smaller production models, like Niman Ranch, are succeeding and supporting the families who work the land and raise the animals. I’m reminded of how my Native people lived with a [Read More]

Environmental Justice: A Black Lives Matter Priority

June 28th 2020

by Roddy Scheer & Doug Moss Dear EarthTalk: Is there any overlap between the #BlackLivesMatter and Environmental Justice movements? There certainly is: “Environmental injustice”—defined as the unfair siting of pollution and other environmental ills in proximity to certain groups based on race or income status—is on a list of 12 issues Black Lives Matter (BLM) considers pressing right now as part of its #WhatMatters2020 campaign. “Environmental racism kills. Air pollution and rollbacks to environmental protections and regulations make it [Read More]

Steward Ownership Meets Employee Ownership

June 28th 2020

by Sarah Joannides – Managing Director, Alternative Ownership Advisors Everyone seems to be talking about stakeholder capitalism as an idea whose time has come, an antidote to the many problems facing society today. But what are they talking about? And how serious are they? Stakeholder capitalism is a two-part idea:  Companies should serve the interests of all stakeholders (e.g. employees, suppliers, customers, communities, ecology), as opposed to only shareholders. Companies should do this not only because it [Read More]

The Pros and the Cons of Shared Accountability

June 28th 2020
Columinate logo

by Carolee Colter, Columinate consultant First, a definition: By co-management, I mean shared accountability for the performance of the organization between two or more managers, who supervise other employees and report to an owner or board of directors. Also, “co-management” is not necessarily the same as a “management team.” Most general managers meet regularly with a core group of managers to get input on decisions and disseminate information throughout the company; this core group is often called “the management team.” [Read More]

Fyffes Farms Exposed: New Report Chronicles Worker Struggles on Honduran Melon Plantations

June 28th 2020
FairWorld Project

by Anna Canning, Fair World Project A coffin if you join the management-controlled union. That’s the offer being made to workers on Fyffes Honduran melon plantations. That coffin is a grim symbol of just how Fyffes treats their workers. Working unprotected with toxic chemicals, without the prospect of retirement or adequate healthcare, and with the ongoing threat of violence, death does not seem like an abstract possibility. Treated as expendable, they are trapped working for Fyffes, the main employer in [Read More]

Communicating with your Busy Boss

June 28th 2020

by Mark Mulcahy, Organic Options & Columinate I was recently working with a new produce manager who is eager to learn, communicates well, listens, has really good ideas, is willing to take chances, and has very high social and environmental integrity. We worked together for three days reviewing systems, resetting the department, and creating an action plan to grown sales in the new market dynamic during COVID. At the end of the day, I could tell that [Read More]

Pranarom’s Adaptation to the Pandemic

June 28th 2020

by Amy Pereira – Educational Director, Pranarom USA I wanted to take this opportunity to share a few insights and highlights on how Pranarom has adjusted and responded to education, manufacturing, product production, and more in the face of the new chain of cause and effect that we’ve all experienced throughout the ongoing global pandemic. I’d also like to share a few personal thoughts and ideas that I hope can help us all to co-create a healthier world to [Read More]

DIY After-Sun Spray with Calendula

June 28th 2020

by Jessicka Nebesni, Mountain Rose Herbs After what seems like an eternity-long winter, my skin craves the summer sun. After venturing out for a long day of exploring the outdoors, I find that my largest organ needs a little extra pampering. Like many folks, I’m a big fan of aloe vera gel, but it can get messy and goopy to use on its own. Fortunately, I found that by combining the cooling benefits of aloe vera gel with witch hazel [Read More]