From the Board

February 14th 2018

by Troy Eustice

It is within the context of our current climate of rapid social, cultural and political change that your board of directors has been employed, contemplating the very essence of what the Provender Alliance means to us and to our greater community. What is Provender? What has it been? What does it mean? What might it be in the future? How could it be improved? How can we change it while remaining true to our original beliefs and intentions? Is our original mission even still important, still relevant?

This self-examination brought about the idea of a theme for the 2018 conference: Minding Our Mission, Finding Our Future.   It will come as no surprise that the board of directors remains passionately connected to the Provender Alliance and its mission.   As I’m sure we are all aware, the natural foods industry is prospering, with natural and organic products seeing record sales, record profits, and large corporations (giant grocery chains, food conglomerates) beginning to show dominance .

But what about the natural foods movement, which began as a loose community that held together in higher purpose—prioritizing ideals such as health, humanity, ecology, environmentalism, justice, and community? In Provender, these ideas are not only alive and well, they are the heart and soul of our organization. As the board considers the essence of Provender, we realize Provender exemplifies these ideals, and serves to remind all of us what it was that made us devote ourselves to this movement.

And so, I offer that it might be a wonderful, and perhaps necessary time to also re-examine your purpose, and revisit your mission statement. What was the motivation, the passion behind it when it was written? Do you still feel it now? What, if anything has changed? Maybe it even sounds strange to your ears after all these years?

Take some time now to reconnect to your mission. Once you have a full understanding of what it is you are, this knowledge will serve to revitalize your passion for what you do. This, in turn, will reinvigorate you with new energy and direction. Collectively, this energy then serves to rejuvenate the movement, reintroducing the importance of our common ideals and goals, and re-strengthening our resolve to continue the struggle for the better world we want.