Even Pickles Are Outsourced

John Schneider, Lansing State Journal GRAND LEDGE - Yes, we all accept the reality of a global economy, in which everything comes from everywhere. But some of it seems to defy common sense. Take, for example, Polish dills - from India. Mark Dayrell of Grand Ledge told me about an email exchange he had with the customer-relations folks at Meijer. It began after Dayrell bought a jar of dill pickles at Meijer. Reading the label at home, he saw that the pickles were "made in India." Dayrell wrote a note to Meijer that said, in part: "With all the canneries and pickle growers we have in Michigan and elsewhere in the U.S., you get your Polish dills from India?" To Meijer's credit, somebody from corporate responded to Dayrell's inquiry. A person named Terri wrote, in part: Diverse customer base "Our customer base includes various cultures, health-concerns, eco-friendliness, and budget restrictions ... In bringing a wide variety of products in all price ranges to all of you, Meijer sources some products domestically while others are sourced globally. "We appreciate your conviction for buying American-made items and produce. Unfortunately, some things are difficult to source within the United States or become very price prohibitive ..." Dayrell found a couple of weak spots in the logic. He replied: "You said, 'Our customer base includes various cultures, health-concerns, eco-friendliness, and budget restrictions ...' "I doubt too many Mid-East Indians seek out polish dills as a cultural food. I understand buying cumin, tea, spices and Indian cultural food in India if it can't be, or isn't, grown here ... "Does eco-friendly take into account the transportation fuel used shipping the product across the Pacific? Or is eco-friendly just the use of human waste as fertilizer in India ..." Dayrell went on to point out that the "budget restrictions" Terri cited might be mitigated if Michigan folks were put work growing, packaging and manufacturing products for Meijer to sell. Michigan products, too Responding via email to my inquiry about the Polish dills from India, Frank J. Guglielmi, Meijer's director public relations, wrote, in part: "Yes, the pickles the customer is asking about were sourced in India. Meijer sources foods from all over the world, including more than $60 million in local produce from Michigan (and Midwest) farmers during the summer harvest season. "The bottom line is Meijer customers demand the highest quality at the lowest price ... Our international suppliers are some of the best in the world, and our teams travel the world to ensure all of our suppliers consistently meet our high standards." Read original post here.