I often shop at the Trader Joe’s store in Templeton. In the past three to four months’ time there have been no wild shrimp carried in the frozen seafood section of that store. After looking weekly, I finally went up to speak to someone at the customer service kiosk in the store.
I explained that Trader Joe’s, being a semi-health conscious type of outlet, should sell wild shrimp. Especially due to the possible deleterious health concerns about the farmed shrimp (that they carry), principally sourced from Thailand and Southeast Asia. I added that the USA also has a domestic seafood industry that needs our support and patronage.
The Trader Joe’s agent I spoke with tried to tell me that “the shortage of shrimp is due to a problem called juvenile shrimp mortality.” I replied that prior to speaking to him, I studied the wild shrimp subject and Gulf state vendors online. I mentioned that “I can fill 10 semi-trucks with shrimps tonight from various American Gulf suppliers.” I replied that he should not try and use this canned version of a rationale for not carrying wild shrimp. I motioned that he was standing in front of a computer and why not try and examine, from Trader Joe’s headquarters, why this former purveyor of fine wild shrimp no longer carried them.
After a few mouse clicks he replied that: “Trader Joe’s is looking for a supplier.”
I replied: “You mean that Trader Joe’s cannot get the wild shrimp as cheap as the farmed shrimp.”
The clerk then said that: “If Trader Joe’s pays too much for the wild shrimp, then the customer has to ante up.”
I asked the clerk to please scan the store parking lot. In abundance were many Mercedes, Audis, Porsches, and exotic and classic vehicles, along with the typical $60k diesel pickups.
Offering domestic wild shrimp, the profit margin might not be as good, but a positive customer health and domestic fishery benefit might be as valuable as the bottom line?
-- Robert Sonek - Atascadero