From the Board

May 12th 2018

by Joe Wade

This past month the Board held our annual retreat, this year in Lincoln City OR. During two-plus days of meetings we assessed our current State of Provender and began planning for the immediate and long-term future. This retreat was heavily seasoned with this year’s Conference theme; Minding our Mission, Finding our Future.

I am an ancient Provender member, but new Board member. It is clear to me that this is a pivotal moment for us. We are a group rich with the history of what brought us all to this important mission and we are grappling with the “climate change” of new business types (and new supporting technologies). As an Alliance striving to support the continual emergence and health of the culture of Natural Foods, we are changing as our environment changes

We see the emergence of new product groups and the legal frameworks and consumer and culture groups that surround them. We are beginning to learn of the passing of some who many years ago helped us as we started our part in the story of Natural Foods in the PNW. We are delighted to see new members of our community arriving and adding their energy and perspective and dedication to the better future we will create together.

Our Natural Foods culture has always been informed by a spirit of diversity, as we fostered the alternative foods counterculture. That counterculture, with values of knowledge and transparency, is now THE food culture of America. The world has shrunk and expand at the same time as the PNW mirrors the explosion of diversity seen everywhere now. The Board drafted an Inclusivity Statement expressing our intent to always have an attitude of openness and support for other parts of our community.

The Board members dedicated as well to the maintenance and new development of Provender membership. This is something that is certainly all our concern. Because we are certain of the great value that that Provender brings to Natural Foods culture in the PNW, and the value that Natural Foods culture brings to the PNW. Pass on to your acquaintances and business contacts that Provender is still the place to experience the totality of what we’ve built over many years and continues to be the place to imagine and find our way to the next steps into the future.