Traders officials concerned the story was one-sided
By Terry Miller
In this week’s edition of Monrovia Weekly ( March 15, 2018), we ran a short story submitted by ‘Crate Free Illinois’ about some of their supporters protesting some of the meat products the popular grocery store sells and the subsequent delivery of petitions at the Monrovia headquarters of Trader Joe’s.
We were initially contacted by the animal rights group weeks ago but delayed running any story citing no local relevance. However, when a small group was slated to protest locally Wednesday, we felt compelled to cover the issue.
The story read “A handful of protesters stood outside Trader Joes HQ on South Shamrock in Monrovia Wednesday afternoon, with the hope that the popular grocery store might commit to ending the use of gestation crates in their supply chain.”
What wasn’t mentioned in the story is that Trader Joe’s, in fact, is making very concerted efforts to listen to customers’ concerns and adjust their buying accordingly. And, in running a one-sided statement from Cage Free Illinois – without contacting the grocery officials, we did a disservice to Trader Joe’s and our readers.
Kenya Friend-Daniel, PR Director for Trader Joe’s contacted this paper Thursday morning and was concerned that we didn’t request comment from company officials prior to publication.
“Trader Joe’s has been a part of this community for many years and I’m not quite sure why a call wasn’t made to us, providing us the opportunity to respond/offer our statement. Our statement, which clearly shows we are committing to making changes and beginning that work very soon, is on our website and no one at the outlet took the time to even visit our website to see if a statement was there. I respect your outlet and the work you do (I was a journalist for over 10 years) but this is something that should never happen. At the very least, an attempt should always be made to get the other side. We care about all of our customers, including those here in Monrovia, and this story paints a false picture of them,” Kenya Friend-Daniel.
Without malice or forethought, we failed to contact Trader Joe’s for comment on this matter, and with all sincerity, apologize for the error in judgment.
For the record, Trader Joe’s has, in fact, gone to great lengths to offer crate free food supply in all their stores: Here is what Trader Joe’s is doing now to combat the issue Crate Free Illinois is concerned about: From Trader Joe’s website:
To Our Valued Customers:
“We’ve heard and care about the concerns of our customers regarding the use of crates in pork. We do have some products that are from a crate-free supply, including:
– Boneless Center Cut Pork Loin Chop (ABF)
– Ground Pork (ABF)
– Spiral Sliced Uncured Hams (half and quarter hams; ABF)
– Applegate Sliced Ham
– Citterio Pepperoni
– Sliced Rosemary Ham
– Uncured Salami di Parma
– The Original Mortadella with Pistachio Nuts
– Stockmeyer Prosciutto
– Uncured Bavarian Bratwurst
In the next several months, we will be moving our fresh pork offerings to a crate-free (gestation and farrowing) supply. We will clarify the crate-free attribute on the product labels for our customers.
Aware that we have other pork products from vendors working toward the removal of crates (over the next several years), we are continuing to evaluate our supply chain to see where additional changes make sense in the near and long-term.
Again, we want to make sure we are able to deliver on any commitment we make, so it is important that we have a clear understanding of the opportunities and how they impact our customers’ shopping experience. Thank you for your continued patience.”
Again, Monrovia Weekly apologizes for not telling the whole story. We strive for excellence and accurate reporting but in this case, failed.