Our product standards | PCC Natural Markets

Our product standards

Organic symbol.

Your local, certified organic natural market

PCC is proud to be a certified organic retailer, which means that we:

  • Maintain records of organic purchases, providing traceability.
  • Verify that the organic products we purchase are certified.
  • Handle the organic products in a way that maintains their organic integrity.
  • Use appropriate cleaning, sanitizing and pesticide products and procedures.

Our certifying agent, the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA), inspects our records and facilities annually, interviews staff, and conducts an audit.

PCC's fair labor standard for chocolate

PCC is believed to be the first U.S. grocer to sell only chocolate made from ethically sourced cocoa.

PCC sells chocolate only from vendors that provide assurance that child slave labor is prohibited and follow International Labor Organization (ILO) Fundamental Conventions. These include strict prohibitions against child slave labor, as well as provisions about age, working conditions and fair wages for all workers.

PCC requires its chocolate vendors to fill out questionnaires and sign affidavits ensuring their chocolate adheres to this standard. All brands must be either be certified by an independent third party, or sign PCC’s Supplier Agreement ensuring they meet the standard.


Fresh, organic, local

PCC maintains close relationships with local and regional farmers to provide the best-tasting, freshest produce possible. More than 93 percent of produce sold by PCC is certified organic fruits and vegetables, grown without artificial pesticides or fertilizers. When organic varieties are not available or out of season, we offer high-quality non-organic produce. See when local, organic produce is in season.

Meat and poultry

Pastured, free-range, humanely raised

PCC offers only natural or organic meats sourced directly from ranchers who are committed to humane standards. Read our vendor agreement, which bars cloned animals or their offspring from PCC

All PCC meat is from pastured or free-range animals. All meats must meet the following criteria to be sold by PCC:

  • All animals are raised on vegetarian diets.
  • No use of antibiotics or growth-promoting hormones.
  • No feed containing animal by-products.
  • No artificial food colorings or preservatives.
  • No meat or dairy from cloned animals or their offspring.


Delicious seafood, healthy oceans

PCC is committed to sell only environmentally responsible seafood and to help transform the marketplace in favor of more responsible fisheries and aquaculture.

We're a full retail partner in the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch Program, which rates seafood choices according to environmental criteria, including the method used to catch the fish, and whether the species is abundant or endangered or threatened by overfishing.

All seafood sold at PCC is from fishing vessels that comply with sustainable, Seafood Watch standards. Even our canned, frozen and sushi seafood comply.

Grocery aisles, Dairy, and bulk

All natural, delicious choices

PCC grocery buyers give preference to organic, local grocery items packaged in an environmentally responsible way, and to products with labels that state they are not genetically modified and not irradiated. PCC grocery products contain no hydrogenated oils or added trans-fat.

Eggs — PCC sells only eggs from hens that are raised cage-free on local, family-owned farms. The use of antibiotics is prohibited and the hens are fed only 100 percent vegetarian feed. Certified-organic eggs come from hens raised on certified-organic feed.

Dairy — As a natural-foods retailer, all of PCC's fresh milk is produced without the use of the genetically engineered growth hormone, rBGH, used to increase milk production. All yogurt, kefir, butter, cheese and other dairy products sold at PCC are free of rBGH as well.

PCC's product standards also do not allow artificial preservatives, colorings, or flavorings.

Deli and bakery

Freshest taste, finest ingredients

Only organic grains, flours, olive oil, milk, beans, potatoes and greens are used in PCC deli and bakery recipes. Many, if not most of the vegetables in various deli-made dishes also are organic. Artificial flavorings, preservatives and colors are strictly prohibited. To ensure quality, deli items and baked goods are freshly made using seasonal ingredients.

Meat and seafood used in PCC deli recipes adhere to the same guidelines as the items sold in our meat and seafood departments.

Coffee and teas

Fairly Traded, shade-grown, organic and locally roasted options

PCC espresso bars are certified organic and offer organic milk and cream, and milk alternatives. All the brewed and expressed coffee sold at PCC — as well as the bagged or bulk coffee — is certified organic, shade-grown, fairly traded, and locally roasted.

Wine and beer

Handpicked, superb flavor

PCC supports wineries and breweries owned and operated by small, independent producers who put integrity and quality before the bottom line.

Maintaining close relationships with local vintners and breweries, as well as producers worldwide, allows PCC to offer a wide range of choices for any budget or occasion. Every effort is made to acquire wines made from estate-grown fruit or fruit from conscientious growers.

All wines sold by PCC contain no synthetic additives, colors or preservatives, with the exception of sulphur, which is used by most wineries to prevent bacterial growth in wine.

Health and body care

Naturally safe and soothing

PCC believes that what we put on our bodies is as important as what we eat. So we've asked the vendors of all our skin, facial and body-care products to comply with the the standards of the Natural Products Association, a set of guidelines that determine whether a product truly can be called "natural."

Many brands at PCC already comply with these stringent standards and PCC is working with others that are striving to become compliant by reformulating. We have discontinued brands and products that are choosing not to comply.

The Natural Products Association standards include:

  • A definition for "natural" — Ingredients that come or are made from a renewable resource found in natural (flora, fauna, mineral), with absolutely no petroleum compounds.
  • All products labeled or branded "natural" are made with at least 95 percent all-natural ingredients.
  • A list of prohibited ingredients, which includes parabens (synthetic preservatives that are potential endocrine disruptors), petrolatum/mineral oil/paraffin (non-renewable byproducts of crude oil with potentially dangerous impurities), and sodium lauryl sulfate (a harsh cleansing agent that's potentially damaging and irritating to the skin).

PCC also is the first retailer to sign on to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a project of the Environmental Working Group. These commitments reflect the highest standards in the United States.

Nutritional supplements — PCC offers a wide variety of nutritional supplements, including vitamins sold exclusively under the PCC brand label. Each product is evaluated individually and must comply with specific requirements.

  • No artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners.
  • Reliable research that supports claims concerning the product's purity and effectiveness.
  • Adequately labeled, listing ingredients and recommended use as required by law.

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