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 already donated to local Black-led organizations supporting this movement in the Northwest, we encourage you to give to these organizations today:

We talk a lot about upholding integrity in the movement for organic and natural foods. And we see the many ways that our members are building integrity through environmentally sustainable supply chains. But we cannot continue to discuss integrity—or sustainability for that matter—without also including racial justice. Without actively building racial equity in our businesses and in our Alliance, we will never fully accomplish our goals of upholding integrity in our industry.

And simply talking about it isn’t enough. There is a LOT of work to be done, and the Provender Alliance is making a commitment to show up for it. While the Board makes a concerted effort to look at our work through a lens of equity and diversity, we (the overwhelmingly white Board of Directors) cannot look at our also overwhelming white membership and say we’ve been getting it right. And as an organization founded around the ideals of organic and regenerative agriculture, we must honor that this knowledge is rooted in communities of color.

We’re making a commitment now, publicly, to approach our work differently. Here are some of the steps we’re beginning with:

  • Establish a permanent Board Committee devoted to developing and upholding an anti-racist organizational framework for the Provender Alliance.
  • Include more BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) voices at our conferences and in our membership.
  • Create and share the Anti-Racist Provender Alliance Pledge—an oath of solidarity to continue the work of building a more just and equitable Provender community.

We know this work is our responsibility and we’ll be holding ourselves accountable to it. We invite you, our members, to hold us accountable, too.

In Solidarity,

Jenica Caudill, Meg Kennedy, James Dill, Mark DiMaggio, Joseph Wade, Troy Eustice, and Abigail Harris
Provender Board & Executive Director

Please feel free to reach out to us. We welcome your thoughts, suggestions, and reflections:

Jenica Caudill (Fair World Project)

Meg Kennedy – Secretary

James Dills (Ashland Food Co-op)

Mark DiMaggio – President

Joe Wade (Impact Group)

Troy Eustice – Treasurer (Sundance Natural Foods) 

Abigail Harris (Provender Executive Director)