Target: Mr. Daniel T. Bane, Chairman and CEO, Trader Joe’s Company
Goal: Reveal Trader Joe’s private-label egg suppliers.
The Humane Society of the United States announced in 2005 that Trader Joe’s Company, a national convenience store, agreed to source its private-label eggs from cage-free hens. This seemed like a victory for animal rights enthusiasts, but the truth is, consumers do not know where Trader Joe’s Company gets its eggs.
Despite its promise to stop selling eggs from battery cages, Trader Joe’s Company refused to participate in the Cornucopia Institute’s 2010 investigation into the humane and sustainable practices of egg suppliers. In fact, the company scored a “zero” on the organization’s report card, offering no information whatsoever about its private-label egg suppliers.
According to the Cornucopia Institute, “Our research indicates that the vast majority of organic eggs for private label brands are produced on industrial farms that house hundreds of thousands of birds and do not grant the birds meaningful outdoor access.” Consequently, if you think you’re buying eggs from humanely treated chickens at your local Trader Joe’s, think again.
To date, the company remains steadfast in its refusal to reveal the names and locations of its egg suppliers. If you try to locate the information on the egg cartons, you won’t find it. The only information provided is the corporate headquarters address in Monrovia, California.
Consumers have a right to know where their food is coming from. Nobody wants to buy eggs laid by abused and mistreated hens, and Trader Joe’s Company needs to prove its promise to the HSUS by revealing its private label egg suppliers. Demand the transparency of Trader Joe’s Company egg suppliers.
Dear Mr. Bane,
While I sincerely respect the agreement Trader Joe’s Company made with the Humane Society of the United States to stop selling eggs from hens in battery cages, there remains an issue with your private-label brand.
Any consumer today knows that the “cage free” label is meaningless. In most cases, “cage free” eggs are laid by hens that are crammed into a barn with no access to the outdoors. These hens remain abused, despite being removed from battery cages, and in fact have their beaks inhumanely clipped to prevent them from killing each other. Cage free does not mean humanely treated, and consumers have the right to confirm that the eggs they buy come from well-kept hens with adequate outdoor space.
Trader Joe’s had the opportunity to confirm that its eggs come from humanely treated hens via cooperation with the Cornucopia Institute, yet your company refused to participate in the Institute’s 2010 study. This certainly suggests that Trader Joe’s has something to hide, and consumers have no way of independently researching your egg suppliers because you do not provide their names and locations on your cartons.
What are you hiding, Mr. Bane? And why, as a consumer yourself, do you feel that I do not have the right to know where my food comes from? I most certainly do, and I demand that you reveal your egg suppliers so that I can make an educated decision as to whether I want to purchase Trader Joe’s private-label eggs.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Larry Rana – USDA