Friday, June 22, 2012

Talking the talk, walking the walk. TJ's called out on antibiotics in meat

Trader Joe's incredibly strong brand makes it a target for activists who believe that its customers are likely to share their political and environmental views. The question is, what are CEO Dan Bane's views?
Meat Without Drugs, a coalition supported by the Consumers Union, The Center for Science in the Public Interest and the Environmental Working Group is calling on Trader Joe's to become a leader in the fight against the insane overuse of antibiotics in the livestock industry. 

The coalition is asking Trader Joe's to sell meat raised with the minimal use of drugs. The standard they're calling for is not some idealistic, ultra-organic farming practice that's totally impractical. It's merely to limit the use of antibiotics to demonstrably sick animals, instead of preventively treating entire herds. The current practices have profound and short-sighted implications on human health.

Readers of Build a Brand Like Trader Joe's know that Trader Joe's is quick to point out that its products are nominally free of GMOs, preservatives, and artificial colorants. But, in spite of its open, friendly, 'organic/healthy' vibe, the chain has typically been a follower, not a leader, on issues like farm-workers' rights or sustainable fisheries.

I'll be pleasantly surprised if this campaign gets a quick, positive response from the faceless head office in Monrovia. [The TJ's head office is in Monrovia, California, not Monrovia, Liberia -- MG]

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