Provender News

Provender Crossroads Update: Town Hall Membership Meeting

August 18th 2020

Provender Crossroads Update:  Town Hall Membership Meeting, August 19th Dear Provender Community, We want to keep you updated on what’s happening with our organization. Like many other non-profits, the Provender Alliance is facing tough challenges. As shared with you in May, we have been experiencing circumstances where we could no longer continue with “business as usual.” Our beloved Provender is at a proverbial crossroads.  We are dealing with a confluence of depleting financial [Read More]

Where Will Consumers Turn When the Mondelez’s of the World — or “Big Natural” — Abandon Them?

July 30th 2020
Joe Wade

Yesterday, Mondelez International announced that they would be reducing their SKU count by 25%. Mondelez owns nearly 40 brands, mainly in the cookie/cracker/candy areas. Brands that may show up in natural retailers are Toblerone, Belvita, Philadelphia, Perfect Bar, and Enjoy Life Foods. During a previous Provender Community Conversation call, we talked about how the pandemic is accelerating the trend of reduced selection in chain stores. Imagine if you can – a cookie section in a Fred Meyer or Winco [Read More]

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]

In Solidarity with Black Lives Matter – Provender Alliance Can and Will Do More

June 16th 2020

Dear Provender Community, The Provender Alliance stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. We echo the calls demanding justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and all Black people whose lives have been stolen by racism and police brutality. Black Lives Matter, and we all have a duty to uphold this truth and fight for a real change of the systemic racism that oppresses Black people. If you haven’t [Read More]

Provender Voices: Reports from the Front Lines

March 31st 2020
Abigail R. Harris

by Abigail Harris – Executive Director, Provender Alliance Food is a necessity, not a luxury, and Provender members are on the front lines as essential workers. Last week Provender took an informal survey and asked members about their experiences, both from a logistics perspective and a personal perspective. Many took time from their busy lives to share what’s going on for them. Reports include: “Staff are crazy stressed but have been very supportive of each other – if they don’t get [Read More]

Provender Debuts New ‘Ask and Offer’ Network

March 19th 2020

Provender Alliance is excited to announce that we are launching a new tool: the Provender Community ‘Ask And Offer’ Network. This new online network provides a straightforward way to ask for and offer help, advice, connections, and experience (using a platform called Givitas). The goal is to make it easier for our community to harness the knowledge and expertise we have in our incredible network to make everyone more successful. For example, if you need advice on a supply chain [Read More]

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]

Expo West Exposés: What Went Wrong?

March 3rd 2020
Abigail R. Harris

by Abigail R. Harris – Executive Director, Provender Alliance As you have probably heard by now, New Hope officially postponed Expo West less than 24 hours before the scheduled starting time of workshops and seminars. As of noon on Monday, New Hope was still updating its website with the message that the show would go on, even while estimating that 40-60% of attendees were canceling.  On March 1, two major and [Read More]

Is Certified Organic Hydroponics the New Frankenfoods?

February 18th 2020
Abigail R. Harris

by Abigail Harris – Executive Director, Provender Alliance Is Certified Organic hydroponics the new Frankenfoods? New developments are arising within CCOF and the broader natural foods community regarding organic certification of hydroponics. A few years ago, USDA Organic approved hydroponic operations. Within the organic community, this continues to be a big bone of contention. At the recent EcoFarm Conference in California, many attendees participated in a tour of a Certified Organic [Read More]

When Locally Owned Biokleen Sells to Global Equity Firm

February 10th 2020
Abigail R. Harris

by Abigail Harris – Executive Director, Provender Alliance I heard big news the other day that Pacific Northwest-based Biokleen sold to The Carlyle Group (via their subsidiary Weinman Products), one of the world’s largest equity firms with over $200 billion in assets. I use Biokleen laundry powder and Bac-out stain remover. I first heard of their products from my cashier at the Food Conspiracy Co-op in Tucson when I lived there years ago. She was a mom and said the [Read More]

Visionary Natural Products Companies May Want to Sell, but not “Sell-Out”

January 21st 2020

by Abigail Harris – Executive Director, Provender Alliance I heard big news yesterday that Pacific Northwest-based Biokleen sold to The Carlyle Group (via their subsidiary Weinman Products), one of the world’s largest equity firms with over $200 billion in assets.  I use Biokleen laundry powder and Bac-out stain remover. I first heard of their products from my cashier at the Food Conspiracy Co-op in Tucson when I lived there years ago. She was a mom and said the spray got [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]

November Inspiration from the Board: Jenica Caudill

November 26th 2019
Jenica Caudill

Every year after the conference, once the excitement has dissipated some, there’s often a bit of sadness for many of us Provenderians. The reality sets in that we have to wait a WHOLE YEAR before we’ll all get to convene again. We, your board, also feel that pain. But, I’d be remiss if I didn’t also say that this is an exhilarating time of year for the board. We immediately get to dive into reflecting on feedback from this year’s [Read More]