Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Packed in China

Dear Wolfson Casing Corp,

I picked up your product at our local Stop & Shop so that we'd have some fresh casing to make our Easter kielbasa.  I was pretty surprised at the price--only $5.29 for a 5 oz. package.  Just under 7 oz. cost me over $9 at a fancy butcher shop several months ago.

Initially, the sausage stuffing process was going well.  I was in charge of rinsing out the casing so that my husband could put the sausage in it.  While he waited for me to finish, he took a look at your packaging and saw something that horrified him:

Product of U.S.A.
Packed in China
Really?!  My mind is boggled.  How can shipping casing all the way to China to package it be more economical?  I mean, this is casing, packed in salt, and placed in a resealable bag (much like a package of shredded cheese).  What do the Chinese do to it that causes enough value add to warrant the environmental effects of shipping and the loss of jobs (both at your own company and at companies that supply the bags)?

I understand that if you're a global company, you want an international presence to make shipping to other countries easier, but does everything have to go through China first?  Why not have a US packing plant for the US/North American market?

Needless to say, we won't be buying your product anymore.  China doesn't have a great track record with packaged food (see: milk tainting, bean sprout tainting, pork taintingfake sweet potato flour, steamed bun scandal, etc.).  We can't fathom why a food company would willingly ship their product to a place that's not necessarily tops in food safety and fully believe it will come back OK.

Oh, I'm sure you've vetted your packagers--your website even says your plants are USDA-certified.  I'm sure not every factory in China is bad/cuts corners.  But let's face it--I've seen enough exposes of Chinese factories to see what making a cheaper product entails.  And when it comes to the food I put in my body, I like to be a little careful of where it's come from.

Next time I need casing, I'm heading back to my butcher.  The peace of mind is worth a couple extra bucks.

Your pal,

P.S. -- Do you really supply the Johnsonville Sausage Company, or are they just a "friend"?

P.P.S. -- The link to the Linx game on your site is broken.

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