At the turn of the twenty-first century, many companies became deeply concerned about their corporate social responsibility and how their operations influenced the environment. Food production enterprises started to implement innovative processing methods and utilize organic components to meet consumer needs. Trader Joe’s has always been known for its advanced approaches, starting to sell canvas bags and providing foods with no preservatives, which was not common in any other supermarket chain in North America. However, this company faces an urgent challenge concerning the overfishing problem in the world, so its authorities need to address it by substituting the endangered species in their grocery stores.
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The success and popularity of Trader Joe’s supermarket chain can be explained by its management structure. The company had only three CEOs starting from the moment of its establishment. This makes this business unique and marks consistency of leadership through the years and explains how the authorities have led the company through the key phases (Yohn). Recently, Trader Joe’s has implemented the principles of decentralization so that each store is a separate business with the manager responsible for all the operations at the place.
Such a business model is similar to franchising, but in this case, each store has less space for developing autonomy because all crucial decisions are made by the upper-level management. This approach has both strengths and weaknesses as not every manager implements the theoretical guidelines into practice at the particular store. Some drawbacks were evident when the red-list species of fish were supposed to be replaced in each supermarket. While in some grocery stores this regulation was successfully adopted, others expressed negligence towards such changes on the way to sustainability.
Trader Joe’s is known for its concise assortment and reasonable prices so that people spend less time when choosing the necessary foods. Furthermore, it offers large sampling stations for its visitors which allow tasting preferred products before making a purchase. In the late 2000s, this supermarket chain started to sell natural products that were processed in a sustainable way, so the sampling station became a great opportunity for consumers to try various types of natural and organic foods. However, the company is currently facing a challenge of providing fish that meets major sustainability requirements established by Greenpeace.
The key issues are related to the effective management at the place, compliance with the directions initiated by the upper-level management, and adherence to the sustainability guidelines of the present time. Even though Greenpeace confirms that the chain has the lowest number of species from the red list in its inventory, the organization’s main challenge is to enhance transparency because there is not enough information on shrimp, farmed salmon, and swordfish. Furthermore, it is necessary to comply with the trends in the industry because such supermarket chains as Walmart, Safeway, and Costco are actively addressing the issue of overfishing.
The supermarket chain Trader Joe’s wants to complete its initiative on the sustainability issue because it recognizes the urgency of the overfishing problem in the world. This issue has numerous implications on the environment and the hydrosphere, in particular. When vulnerable or endangered species are exploited, it results in poor stock and possible extinction. Destruction of the habitat also leads to significant changes in the ecosystem and imposes risks on other marine dwellers. Furthermore, overfishing may threaten the local communities which survival highly depends on the piscatorial activities. As Trader Joe’s chain has always been responsible for evolving its corporate social responsibility guidelines, its management has set the goal to remove all the species included in the red list from their shelves during the next several years.
The key stakeholder groups of Trader Joe’s include suppliers, shareholders, and community. The proprietors are deeply concerned about the status and efficiency of their company in the market. They also want to see Trader Joe’s complying with strategic goals and objectives related to the demand for sustainability. Suppliers are also influential stakeholders, primarily because of the company’s business model.
As Trader Joe’s has a decentralized corporate structure, each manager at the particular store takes full responsibility for its operations. That is why they are targeted at cooperation with local suppliers, which provides an opportunity to set reasonable prices. Therefore, regional farms and fisheries are interested in adjusting their processes and making them sustainable to meet the requirements of the supermarket chain. Finally, consumers are getting concerned about their personal health and reduced environment impact, so they tend to purchase sustainable foods and products that bring no harm.
One of the most popular grocery stores in the US has constantly been approaching innovative trends in the market. However, Trader Joe’s has recently encountered an issue concerning the global overfishing crisis. What if the overconsumption of fish will impose the risk on its survival? That is why a stricter control and cooperation with Greenpeace must be established in order to remove all the species included in the red list from the supermarket shelves. The key stakeholder groups also need to assist this organization by supplying and consuming non-endangered fish species. However, how is it possible to control whether each party sufficiently contributes to environmental protection?
Yohn, Denise Lee. “Six Surprising Facts That Explain Trader Joe’s Secrets to Success.” Forbes. 2018. Web.