Provender News

Is It Really Organic?

April 8th 2021

by Abigail Harris, Executive Director, Provender Alliance Recently, a lawsuit lost in court that had been filed against the USDA for certifying hydroponics as organic. The case was a group effort initiated by the Center for Food Safety* and includes Dave Chapman, an organic farmer and director of the Real Organic Project (ROP). [Read “I Fought the Law and the Law Won”] Ouch. And ouch again. This means the USDA will continue certifying over a billion [Read More]

April Message from the Board: Jackson Bagley-Bonner

April 6th 2021

Greetings fellow Provenderites, Spring has Sprung (at least in the southern Willamette valley) and a new period of transition is upon all of us, one way or another. These times of change and renewal often come with introspection and looking for the “why” both personally and professionally for me.  When thinking about what I wanted to cover in my “message from the board” I went back and forth on topics and how many nuts and bolts to include about our [Read More]

April 13th Event – Seeking Staffing Stability: Recruitment, Retention, and Maintaining Morale

March 25th 2021

UPCOMING COMMUNITY CONVERSATION: Tues. April 13th @ noon – 1:00 pm (PT) Seeking Staffing Stability: Recruitment, Retention, and Maintaining Morale The pandemic has made it especially challenging for recruitment, retention, and maintaining morale. Please join us for this free, informative conversation and register here to participate on April 13. How Community Conversations work: We meet on Zoom on the second Tuesday of [Read More]

Feb. 9th Event: What’s Next for Your Business – Anticipating Changing Conditions through 2021

February 2nd 2021

  UPCOMING COMMUNITY CONVERSATION: What’s Next for Your Business: Anticipating Changing Conditions through 2021 Tuesday, February 9th, 12:00 -1:00 pm (PT) Register here Things sure changed in 2020, and we all had to change along with them. The winds of change will continue to blow through 2021. Hear from and share with your peer group from across the Pacific Northwest as together we try to anticipate, as best we can, the developments that our Provender [Read More]

Feb 23rd Event: Introduction to De-Escalation for Natural Foods Staff

February 2nd 2021

February 23rd (12:00 – 1:00 pm PT)Introduction to De-Escalation for Natural Foods Staff (Presented by Provender Alliance in collaboration with the Center for Dialog and Resolution) Are you feeling stressed? Even scared sometimes? You’re not alone. Please join us for a lunchtime presentation, facilitated by the Center for Dialog and Resolution, for natural foods staff who encounter and handle potentially volatile situations with customers, [Read More]

Community, Membership, and Being Part of a Network

February 2nd 2021

“I can honestly say that I am very happy to have made the decision to join Provender. Already within a month’s time, it has provided me with tools and workshops – and makes me feel like although we are a small Co-op, we are a part of a network now.”  Shake’ Yeriazarian – General Manager, San Juan Island Co-op, WA Receiving Shake’s email the other day was so affirming; the Provender Alliance [Read More]

A Message from Board of Directors member Stephen Ohl

February 2nd 2021

by Stephen Ohl, Provender Board member, Bozeman Community Food Co-op After a tumultuous 2020 in nearly every way imaginable, Provender is refocusing this year on our membership community and our shared future. In focusing on the future, the Board is looking inward at our organization in our long-term plans and goals. We want to be around for at least another 40 years, and we recognize the need to adapt to the changing world we share. The Board [Read More]

Letter from the Executive Director: New Year, New Start

January 13th 2021

New Year, New Start While many of our members continue to face business challenges as we roll into 2021, there is still a wide-spread feeling of hope for the ability to work together for change.  For Provender Alliance, 2020 was a year where we went from considering folding the organization to a recommitment to affirming our unique role in the natural products trade. We are grassroots by nature, and the beauty of Provender and its community [Read More]

Provender 2021 Board of Directors Election Results

January 7th 2021

Provender Alliance recently held its annual election for the Board of Directors. For 2021, we have three newly elected board members for the three spots that were open seats. Two of the candidates who ran are new to the board — Stephen Ohl from Community Food Co-op in Bozeman, MT, and Jackson Bagley-Bonner from Hummingbird Wholesale in Eugene, OR. Our returning member is Troy Eustice (treasurer) from Sundance Natural Foods in Eugene, OR. They will join Provender’s other four [Read More]

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]