PCC Community Markets, Seattle’s community-owned food market, is giving a $1 million gift to PCC Farmland Trust, an organization it founded nearly 20 years ago. The gift comes at a time when rising land costs and sprawling development—with more people moving to Pierce and Snohomish counties than anywhere else in the country—are impacting the future of local farming, the company says.
PCC’s intends for its gift to the Trust’s Our Farms, Our Future fundraising campaign to further protect some of the most fertile land in the nation and a significant source of local healthy food.
“The local fields and farms that supply our stores with fresh carrots, snap peas, microgreens and melons, and the relationships we’ve built with generations of farmers, are the heart of our co-op,” said Cate Hardy, PCC CEO. “That was true in 1999 when our members created PCC Farmland Trust, and it is even more so today. The Trust is doing important work to preserve one of our region’s most precious natural resources, and we hope that our commitment will inspire others to support this important effort.”
PCC Farmland Trust, an independent 501(c)(3), conserved its first farm in 1999 in response to a call from organic farmer Nash Huber. His fields were threatened by a development project on the Olympic Peninsula, and the PCC community raised the funds necessary to protect the land. Today, Huber’s produce continues to line the shelves of PCC stores and at farmers markets throughout the region. Huber’s is among the 23 sustainable and organic farms and 2,553 acres that have been conserved to-date as a result of the Trust’s efforts.
“We would not be where we are today without the vision and dedication of our founder, PCC Community Markets,” said PCC Farmland Trust Executive Director Rebecca Sadinsky. “From protecting land and supporting farmers to highlighting our region’s bounty in delicious, local products, the collaboration between PCC and the Farmland Trust is a model public-private partnership that is having an impact across our food system. We are grateful to be able to mark our decades-long partnership with this generous gift.”
The Trust is the only statewide land trust in Washington State focused exclusively on farmland preservation, and one of the few with programs centered on sustainable practices, community engagement and farmland access, says PCC. The organization uses conservation tools to remove development potential from farmland, making it more affordable for future farmers and preserving its agricultural value forever.
The Trust has raised $18.5 million through the Our Farms, Our Future campaign. In addition to its $1 million gift, PCC partners with the Trust in a variety of ways, from in-store fundraising drives and PCC Cooks classes, to a new PCC private label baguette, specially crafted for the co-op by Macrina Bakery. Available this November, the baguette is made from organic whole wheat from Williams Hudson Bay Farm in Touchet, Washington, a Salmon-Safe and Trust-conserved farm.