Friday, June 19, 2009

Trader Joes Under Boycott Pressure - from Jewish Community Relations Council

Date: June 18, 2009
Re:Trader Joe's Boycott

Dear Colleagues, It has come to our attention that the anti-Israel groups under the umbrella of the "U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel" recently sent form letters to Trader Joe's headquarters demanding the company stop carrying Israeli products as these products "help fund an economy based on illegal occupation and apartheid."

The Anti-Defamation League Central Pacific office sent a letter to Trader Joe's and received a response from Jon Basalone, Trader Joe's Senior Vice President of Marketing. He wrote, "We have received a few letters [threatening a boycott] like this via our customer relations email. Our response is that we sell products, and do not use our products as political tools or to make any statements about any political causes. We have no intention of removing any products based on pressure from any group, no matter what they support or don't support. As always, we believe our customers are smart, and they are capable of making decisions about what they purchase."

Anti-Israel activists in Pittsburgh walked into a Trader Joe's and proceeded to pull Israeli goods and distribute misinformation materials to customers before being removed for trespassing. Additionally we have heard word about this from the JCRCs in Nashville and Silicon Valley. The anti-Israel groups have called for a national day of de-shelving Israeli products from Trader Joe's stores on Saturday, June 20, World Refugee Day. We are asking you to do the following:

1. Alert your community members and encourage them to shop at Trader Joe's stores and to specifically buy Israeli products, particularly before and during the weekend of June 20. It would be fantastic if all the Israeli products are gone before the boycotters arrive. Israeli products carried at Trader Joe's include: Dorot Crushed Garlic, Dorot Chopped Cilantro, Holyland Matzos, Pastures of Eden Feta Imported, Trader Joe's Israeli Couscous and Trader Joe's Harvest Grains Blend.

2. Tell managers at Trader Joe's stores that you really like the Israeli products they carry and hope they will carry more in the future.

3. Alert managers that June 20 has been declared as a day to de-shelve Israeli products and they should be aware of any people who may try to vandalize, shoplift, or deface the products in any way.

4. Write a letter of thanks to Trader Joe's national headquarters on their contact page here or by mail to: Don Bane, Chairman and CEO Doug Rauch, President Charles J. Pilliter, SVP Operations Trader Joe's Main Headquarters800 S. Shamrock Ave.Monrovia, CA 91016Below you will find sample text: It has recently come to my attention that anti-Israel groups called for a boycott of Israeli products in your stores. I want to thank you for not giving into this pressure and for carrying products from Israel that I and so many others enjoy across the country. I will continue to buy these goods and others from your stores.

1 comment:

Jon said...

One problem. What should be done with all that couscous we buy this weekend while foiling the boycotters?

Fortunately, my mom has provided some tasty suggestions which I posted on my anti-divestment blog

Anyone who wants to can post some additional recipes in the comments section. I'll recap them all on Monday.

Happy shopping.