Thursday, July 2, 2009

Loblaws on Pork

Some of you may have seen my BzzAgent post on pork where I expressed my disappointment at not seeing the Canadian Pork label on the cooler shelves at Loblaws.

Give credit where credit is due - Loblaws does their homework and makes it a point of knowing who's saying what about them. In my "inbox", I received the following email:

Hi there,

I wanted to reach out to you in response to your recent posting about Stuffed Salsa Pork Tenderloin and your experience at a Toronto Loblaw Superstore. First of all, I'd like to thank you for shopping at the Loblaw Superstore and for buying Canadian products. We take all customer concerns seriously and wanted to reach out to you about your experience.

We have recently revitalized the meat shopping experience in store, however, your experience indicates that our efforts to educate both our colleagues and customers about our products can be improved.

I'd like to reassure you that we do indeed source a great deal of Canadian Pork and are committed to increasing the amount of Canadian product we source. Sourcing with integrity – which includes sourcing as much local and domestic product as possible – is one of the key pillars of our CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) mandate. In fact, our new Free From line of meats includes pork produced here in Canada and even pictures one of our suppliers on pack. It is raised without the use of antibiotics or hormones, and sourced from dedicated Canadian suppliers (small family farms in Ontario, Quebec and Alberta). Like all Canadian pork and chicken, PC pork and chicken are proudly hormone free. We are also proud to carry other meats products, such as chicken and beef, sourced from Canada as well.

Now that we’ve clarified the information mentioned on your blog, we hope you’ll take the time to visit your local store and try out some of the great local pork that we do in fact offer.

Thanks very much, and happy barbecuing - your recipe did indeed look delicious!

Kind regards,


Sheri Helman
Senior Manager, Public Relations
Loblaw Companies Limited
1 President's Choice Circle I Brampton, Ontario I L6Y 5S5
Tel: (905) 459-2500, ext. 6253 Fax: (905) 861-2325
Clearly, Loblaws is listening to bloggers. How would you take this email?

In my opinion, it's good to be able to have this dialogue with a large grocery chain and it's equally as positive for them to hear your feedback.

To their credit, I did find veal at Loblaws that had a Canadian marking on it.

Does this mean that the meat product is raised in Canada or processed in Canada, or both. In fact, to put a Made in Canada sticker on a product only means that per cent of the production cost was incurred in Canada; the ingredients could come from anywhere. But this is another debate.

In other meat product news...

An E.Coli alert for a current recall of some varieties of President's Choice (branding name for Loblaws) is out. Watch the best-before dates between April 29 and June 16, inclusive, sold in Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada. The alert originated in the U.S. Does this mean that the meat is from the U.S.?

Consumers should avoid eating certain President's Choice brand steaks, roasts and ground beef products that are being pulled from store shelves because of possible contamination with E. coli, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency says.

The agency issued the health hazard alert Tuesday as an expansion of a recall of beef products processed in the U.S. in April by JBS Swift Beef Company in Greeley, Colo., after 18 people fell ill.

To read the whole story, see CBC Online . What's most disturbing is that one of the stores listed is my local market. StumbleUpon


Bellini Valli said...

I also agree with sourcing out local producers for veggies, meats and sundries wherever possible. It is admirable to point out the shortfalls of the large grocery chains and indicate our need to eat locally.It is obvious from the response that they do listen if we speak out.

kat said...

Wow, it says a lot about them that they actually are reading blogs & responded. We've started buying what meat we can from local farmers at the farmers market just to know what we are getting

Stamatia said...

I wandered over here from another blog after seeing "Loblaws" in the title - I heard about the recall on CBC radio, at our camp while we were already BBQing our meat...thankfully we hadn't been buying our meat from there at the time when the tainted meat was sold, and if I did pick some up, it's long gone. I agree with you, I'd much rather see Canadian meat on the I have to give them props on the lamb they had on the shelf, because it was local (New Brunswick), which I thought was kind of awesome.

Jackie said...

I'm impressed they did their homework and took the time to answer your concerns.

Melissa said...

Call me crazy, but I feel like she chose her words very carefully. I still don't feel like they are definitively stating that, yes, the pork you're buying there is Canadian. Maybe it's just me. I mean, it's nice that they wrote but... something about it comes off strange to me. Shaky.

As for the recall, I've never known anyone to see a recall list and see their local grocery on that list. Sorry about that Giz. That would bug me as well.

Bunny said...

I think they're response is a good thing Giz. I don't think my local grocery store would have cared enough to respond. Sorry for my absence Giz work was brutal and I'm getting old! LOL!

maris said...

Wow, it really is so scary how meat/poultry can be so dangerous. I think it is definitely good that the company is at least trying to read and listen.