2011 annual membership meeting recap

The 2011 annual meeting reached yet another record attendance with more than 445 members joining us at St. Demetrios Hall on April 26.

Executive Chef Blake Caldwell, PCC Seward Park’s Deli Coordinator, led the planning and preparation of our dinner. Using local, seasonal and organic ingredients, their team produced a beautiful and delicious spring meal. All of the recipes, along with a report by [former] nutrition educator Leika Suzumura on the nutritional value of the menu, are linked here.

Board chair Julianne Lamsek and CEO Tracy Wolpert reported on the co-op’s solid financial health and shared operational highlights of 2010. Links to their reports to members are on our website as is the official 2010 annual report.

Director of store development Lori Ross honored long-time PCC member George Ostrow on his years of involvement in our green building efforts. Ostrow is president of Velocipede Architects. His particular green designs for PCC have brought us the distinction of building the first-ever LEED Gold grocery store in Redmond, and, in Edmonds, both the first Salmon-Safe Certified commercial site in Washington State and the first LEED Platinum grocery store in the western United States.

On behalf of the 2010-2011 nominating committee, chair Janet Hietter introduced the five board candidates to the members. Each candidate gave a brief statement.

The evening concluded with a panel discussion on the organic industry, featuring three experts in the field: Liana Hoodes, executive director of the National Organic Coalition; Urvashi Rangan, Ph.D., technical policy director at Consumers Union; and Michael Sligh, founding chair of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) and Sustainable Agriculture Program director of the Rural Advancement Foundation International.

These three were in Seattle to testify at the spring meeting of the NOSB. Sligh talked about the history and development of the organic standards describing the years of work it took to get to October 2002 when the National Organic Program and the first set of rules were established. Dr. Rangan described some of the science involved in setting and reviewing standards and Hoodes stressed the importance of consumer input as the NOSB makes vital decisions. Both Rangan and Hoodes recounted instances where consumer feedback impacted the actions of the NOSB.

All three encouraged PCC members to remain vigilant about educating themselves and answering the call when they are asked to weigh in on issues like GE alfalfa and demanding review of all ingredients in the organic food supply. PCC Advocates, an e-newsletter that is occasionally distributed to keep its readers informed about current food and agriculture controversies.

High-schooler Kim Bussing, attending her first member meeting said, she “really enjoyed the meeting; it was a great opportunity to talk to people who share similar interests with me about healthy and organic eating, and it was really interesting to hear Leika's [Suzumura’s] ideas about incorporating local food into schools. Kim’s mom, Julie Bussing concurred. “As always, I enjoyed the PCC annual meeting. It is wonderful to come together and meet people from many backgrounds. Yet we all share the common understanding of the importance of eating well and caring for our environment. It definitely gives one a sense of hope!”

What is the NOSB?

The Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) of 1990, part of the 1990 Farm Bill, authorized the Secretary of Agriculture to appoint a 15-member National Organic Standards Board.

The Board’s main mission is to make recommendations about whether a substance should be allowed or prohibited in organic production or handling, to assist in the development of standards for substances to be used in organic production, and to advise the Secretary on other aspects of the implementation of the OFPA.

The current board is comprised of four farmers/growers, two handlers/processors, one retailer, one scientist, three consumer/public interest advocates, three environmentalists, and one USDA accredited certifying agent who sit on various committees. Members come from all four U.S. regions.

PCC’s Quality Standards Specialist and Nutrition Educator, Goldie Caughlan served a five-year term on the NOSB from 2000 to 2005.

More about: board of trustees, co-op, member meetings

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