PCC Community Markets

Farm/Brand HeadquartersSeattle, WA
ProductsFluid milk
Market AreaWA
Total Score1335

PCC Community Markets, in Seattle, is the country’s largest member owned natural foods cooperative. They are one of the most engaged retailers in the nation when it comes to being involved in policy work protecting the integrity of the organic label, both in Washington State and nationally.

Their choice of organic milk suppliers, for their own store-brand, reflects their dedication to the organic movement. It comes from a supplier of integrity, depending on local family-scale farms in the Pacific Northwest.

TOTAL (possible score is 1600 plus extra credit) 1335
4-Cow Rating | Excellent
Farmstead dairies earn the most points. Corporations that have a history of skirting the organic rules receive the fewest.
Ownership structure
75Corporation with a superb track record
Farms that produce 100% of their milk receive the most points. Milk from "open market" or known confinement dairies receive the fewest.
Milk Supply
90Sourced from trusted dairy cooperative (local farms only)
100% organic farms receive the most points. Split operations with conventional dairy on the same property receive the fewest.
Organic Production
80Markets both organic and conventional products, but organic suppliers do not have split operations
Farms that completed the survey in detail received the most points.
Disclosure of Information for Verification
100Full disclosure
Points determined by integrity of the brand’s organic certifier.
Organic Certification
75Oregon Tilth certifies final products and farms
Animal Welfare Approved and Biodynamic certifications receive the most bonus points. Producers are not penalized for not having additional certifications beyond organic.
Other Labels/Standards
0None. Individual farmers may have other certifications.
100% grass-fed with independent verification of standards
70Exceeds minimum USDA standards for grazing
No points are given for this but the information may be useful to certain consumers looking to avoid soy.
Soy Free Ration?
Sliding scale based on policies, enforcement, acreage/cow, days/year on pasture, and permissible exemption.
80Supplier farms are local and have good pasture compliance
One time/day receives the most points. Two times per day is standard.
Times Milked
90Two times a day (standard protocol on legitimate organic dairies)
Lower cull rate scores better, with under 10% receiving the most points.
Cull/death Rate
75Moderate cull/death rate
Farms with closed herds receive the most points. Farms that sell organic calves and buy conventional replacements receive the fewest.
100Closed herds
Standard practice is removing calves shortly after birth, with extra points given for unique ways of managing calves
70Removed shortly after birth (standard practice)
Farms that prohibit antibiotics receive the most points. Farms that allow young stock to receive antibiotics (under one year), receive the fewest.
Antibiotic Use
100No antibiotic use
No hormones is the standard, however some farms do use oxytocin for therapeutic purposes.
Hormone Usage
100No hormone use
Farmstead dairies (owner lives on-site) receive the most points. Fewer points are given as oversight declines.
Farm Support
90Cooperative supplier that sets standards and has a staff that visits farms regularly
All ingredients sourced from inside the organization or on the farm receives the highest points. Ingredients from confinement factory farms and/or imported ingredients receive the fewest.
Procurement of Ingredients
90Outside ingredients from trusted sources
Various levels of extra credit given for 1) providing full organic systems plan, 2) providing details on all farms (multi-farm brands, details on largest five required), and 3) sourcing feed on-farm or domestically.
Extra Credit
50With respect to the concern of fraudulent grain imports, this brand some percentage of their feed from “open source” certified organic feed and were transparent enough to share that detail with us.