Hey Trader Joe's: respect the people who harvest the food you sell. Photo: Scott RobertsonOver the past two decades, Trader Joe's has grown rapidly as bargain-hunting foodies swarmed into its outlets. The chain now runs more than 350 stores with sales topping $8 billion in 2009. The secret to its dazzling success? Fortune magazine describes the retailer as "an offbeat, fun discovery zone that elevates food shopping from a chore to a cultural experience." Equally important, Trader Joe's business model is based on offering a limited selection of high-quality products at very low prices. By restricting its inventory, it's able …
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Sean Sellers is a Food and Society Fellow at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy and a board member of Just Harvest USA.