Blog: Greenpeace Vs. Trader Joe’s

Thu, Jul 9, 2009


In this corner, weighing in at 328 (stores) with a nearly $8 billion revenue in 2008, with a right hook as strong as his fancy cheeses, Trader Joe!

And in this corner, weighing in at 2.9 million worldwide members, the Not-So-Jolly Green Giant, the hippie collective with a modern perspective, Greenpeace!

Let’s get ready to rumble!

…Over some fish.

That’s right, Trader Joe’s was called out by Greenpeace today for having zero sustainable seafood policies. In a recent report that the non-profit carried out detailing major grocers’ marine preservation policies, Trader Joe’s received a “FAIL” grade. The national supermarket chain has no seafood sustainability practices in place, though signs in some stores advertise fish that has come from environmentally-friendly sources, there is little proof of any of it to actually be true. In response to Joe’s lackluster performance, Greenpeace has set up a “Traitor Joe’s” website, a clear lampoon of the official TJ’s website, even substituting fish skeleton wallpaper in place of the original site’s vaguely tropical flower pattern.

The site is actually quite funny, but how effective is it as a tool of persuasion? Part of me feels for old Joe, who’s part of a sudden and vicious attack by people he doesn’t really understand. Who says that the grocery isn’t just giving its customers what they want? Shouldn’t we be the ones watching over our own food?

At the same time, part of running a business is taking the initiative and doing the right thing, whether customers ask for it or not. Greenpeace may seem cruel, but that’s sometimes the best way to get a point across.

What do you think? Who’s going to win this brawl and take home the Heavyweight Title? Or will each stay in its own corner chewing on granola and making rude faces at the other? Sound off in the Comments!

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