Journal Winter 2019

From the Board of Directors: Those on the Front Lines in our Industry

March 19th 2020

by Mark DiMaggio – board member, Provender Alliance We hope that everyone is as safe and healthy as they can be during these challenging times. I had intentions of writing about the natural products industry in the Pacific Northwest, reevaluating the need for mega trade shows and mega distributors. However, with the growing impact of COVID-19, I feel this is an important time to appreciate those on the front lines in our industry.  Grocery stores and their [Read More]

New Seasons Grocery Chain Sells to Emart of South Korea: Independents Face Retail Mergers and Big Food Acquiring Smaller Brands

December 19th 2019
Abigail R. Harris

by Abigail Harris For those of us in the Pacific Northwest natural foods industry – the biggest news of this holiday season is the announcement that New Seasons Market of Portland, OR, has sold to Emart of South Korea. This sale to a global retailer is the main topic of conversation in many break rooms of Provender member businesses. New Seasons was originally revered as a local business that “made good” in a competitive market place crowded with Whole Foods [Read More]

From the Board of Directors: How a Provender Connection Turned a ‘Cold Call’ into a Warm Business Relationship

December 19th 2019

by Mark DiMaggio – board member, Provender Alliance We have another successful Conference in the books! Thank you to all members that participated and send staff to the Conference. Being at the Conference provides tremendous energy and inspiration to first-timers and those that have been for 40 years. Yet, I encourage all members and staff to realize what it means to be a part of the Provender community outside of the Conference. Being a Provender member means more than attending [Read More]

How an Organic Food Distribution Company Helped Save a 60-Acre Organic Hazelnut Orchard

December 19th 2019

[An abbreviated version of this article first appeared in TAKE ROOT Magazine, a media trade partner with Provender Alliance.] by Stacy Ann Kraker Hummingbird Wholesale is on a mission to increase Organic acreage and strengthen local food systems. One way they’re doing it? By supporting Oregon Organic hazelnut farmers and encouraging more regional eaters to give these delicious nuts a try.   The Horning family has been farming in Oregon’s Willamette Valley since the 1940s. In 2017, fourth-generation farmer Steve Horning and [Read More]

Organically Grown Company’s Journey to Trust Ownership – and Beyond

December 19th 2019

By Sarah Joannides, Alternative Ownership Advisors Founded in 1978, Organically Grown Company has been a pioneer in sustainable, organic agriculture for over 40 years. From its roots as a nonprofit started by activists, OGC has grown into one of the largest independent organic produce distributors in the US. Along the way, they have evolved and iterated their ownership structure to continually deepen their mission and multi-stakeholder approach, a journey which took them from nonprofit to farmers’ cooperative, and [Read More]

New International Guide to Fair Trade Labels

December 19th 2019
FairWorld Project

by Anna Canning “What’s the difference between all these fair trade labels?” It’s a question we get a lot at Fair World Project. And now there’s an updated set of resources to help answer that question, thanks to a global coalition of academics and fair trade organizations.  The updated International Guide to Fair Trade Labels provides an in-depth analysis of the main fair trade labels in the global marketplace as well as outlines current trends in ethical labeling and the [Read More]

Growing Your Productivity: How Small Independent Retailers Can Compete with the Chains

December 19th 2019
Couminate Logo

by Carolee Colter – Consultant, Columinate No expense can go unexamined in this era of relentless competition. “The marketplace continues to get more efficient, and our competitors are constantly in a battle to lower prices,” says Don Moffitt, my Columinate colleague. Don conducts financial feasibility studies for retailers, particularly when they are looking to expand or refinance debt. Often a business contemplating a significant change can’t manage it without a hard look at reducing expenses. And in retail, [Read More]

DIY Elderberry Syrup for Immune Support

December 19th 2019
Mountain Rose Herbs

recipe by Tieraona Low Dog, M.D., R.H. Who doesn’t love a tasty way to maintain a healthy immune system? Elderberry syrup is one of the most enjoyable ways to keep the sniffles at bay and it’s easy to make. Here is our time-tested traditional recipe that you can easily make in your own home kitchen. It also makes great gifts! Traditional Elderberry Syrup Recipe Makes about 4 cups Ingredients: 2 cups dried organic elderberries 2-3 tsp. organic dried ginger root [Read More]

Book Review: Grocery Story – The Promise of Food Co-ops in the Age of Grocery Giants

December 19th 2019
Joe Wade

by Joe Wade, board member of Provender Alliance What do you get when you cross a Doukhobor with a draft dodger? The answer emerges in a very important new book from Jon Steinman “Grocery Story – The Promise of Food Co-ops in the Age of Grocery Giants” (2019, New Society). The first quarter of this book lays out what is meant by the Age of Grocery Giants. I point this out because if you read it slowly, as I did, [Read More]

Roof Rats Are Not Your Ordinary Rodent and Require A Different Management Approach

December 19th 2019
Sprague Pest Solutions Logo

A Snapshot Into the World of Roof Rat Management Case Study: A Threat From Above by Sprague Pest Solutions Pest management is a 360-degree proposition. If you only look down or at eye level for signs of pest activity or damage, you are missing a whole lot, especially when it comes to roof rats. The Sprague QA and technical teams recently tackled a roof rat mystery in a food processing plant’s warehouse area that was not only vexing for the [Read More]

On the Fence

December 19th 2019

by Gary Munkhoff In these chaotic times of climate change and political upheaval, making simple New Year’s resolutions can hardly be seen as a way to make a difference. I mean really, what power does anyone of us have? Judging from the rapidly rising atmospheric CO2 levels, it’s obvious that most people have decided that it’s easier to sit on the fence rather than take action.  Fence sitting is nothing new for Americans. During the struggle for independence, [Read More]