PCC Community Markets

Rating
Farm/Brand HeadquartersSeattle, WA
ProductsFluid milk
Websitewww.pccmarkets.com
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.

CriteriaRatingComment
TOTAL (possible score is 1600)1335
4-Cow Rating | Excellent
Farmstead dairies who live on-site (or work their own dairy daily) receive top points for this category. No transparency and/or no answer receive no points.
Ownership structure
75Corporation with a superb track record
Farmstead dairies and well-managed cooperatives with only their own patrons get top points in this category. Fewer points go to brands that have less control over their milk supply.
Milk Supply
90Sourced from trusted dairy cooperative (local farms only)
Brands that do not also market any conventional products receive top points in this category. Brands that are less dedicated to organics receive fewer points.
Organic Production
80Markets both organic and conventional products, but organic suppliers do not have split operations
The best transparency toward Cornucopia investigators is rewarded by full points.
Disclosure of Information for Verification
100Full disclosure
If a top-rated organic certifier certifies this brand they receive full points. Certifiers with questionable practices receive fewer points.
Organic Certification
75Oregon Tilth certifies final products and farms
If this brand has other third-party labels, particularly animal-welfare labels, that will provide them extra points in this category depending on the particular label and its standards.
Other Labels/Standards
0None. Individual farmers may have other certifications.
100% Grass-fed with independent verification or independent standards to ensure compliance will receive full points in this category. Other points are attributed to how much forage composes the dairy cows’ diets.
Grass-fed
70Exceeds minimum USDA standards for grazing
No point value – this information is offered for buyers interested in milk from cows without soy in their diets.
Soy Free Ration?
No
Rating based on (a) policies of brand, (b) enforcement/oversight (c) acreage available per cow, (d) average days on pasture (e) investigative actions.
Pasture
80Supplier farms are local and have good pasture compliance
Where cows are milked one to two times per day they receive top points. It's standard organic protocol to milk two times a day. Dairies that milk three-to-four times a day is one indicator of factory-organics.
Times Milked
90Two times a day (standard protocol on legitimate organic dairies)
A cull and/or death rate under 10% annually receives full points.
Cull/death Rate
75Moderate cull/death rate
Closed herd (meaning the brand raises all their replacement cattle) receives full points. If conventional animals are purchased, the brand receives fewer points.
Replacements
100Closed herds
If this brand has a unique way of managing calves they receive more points. If they remove the calf shortly after birth (the standard practice) they receive 70 points.
Calves
70Removed shortly after birth (standard practice)
When the brand prohibits all antibiotic use they receive full points. No answer receives no points.
Antibiotic Use
100No antibiotic use
When no hormones are used on farm(s) this brand receives full points. When the brand uses hormones therapeutically post-birth the brand receives 50 points.
Hormone Usage
100No hormone use
Farmstead dairies (lives on site) get full points and cooperative/corporations that set standards and have staff that visit the supplying dairies also receive top points. No direct supervision and/or personal relationship with farm(s) gets low or no points.
Farm Support
90Cooperative supplier that sets standards and has a staff that visits farms regularly
Full control of any added ingredients (100% come from within organization) receives top points. Dairy ingredients purchased from a number of different vendors (with less direct control) receives fewer points in this category.
Procurement of Ingredients
90Outside ingredients from trusted sources
Several questions were asked in addition to the original survey questions that would ultimately give producers “extra credit” points. Look for details in individual brand explanations.
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.

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