Coon cheese is dead: foreign owners kill controversial brand name after Aboriginal activist lobbied for 20 years to change it
- Coon cheese is renamed after activists have complained about the Product
- Aboriginal activist Stephen Hagan wrote the company a call for change
- Australian manufacturer claims the product was named after Edward Coon
Coon cheese is being removed from Australian supermarkets after Canadian owners have announced that they will rename the product.
Aboriginal activists have lobbied to change the brand for the past 20 years, as the word ‘coon’ is demeaning to people of color.
On Friday, the company announced that it had decided to discontinue the Coon brand name.
The move comes after the Black Lives Matter movement gained momentum following the death of George Floyd.
The company confirmed that it would look for a new name that was “in line with the current attitude.”
Aboriginal activists have lobbied to change the brand for the past 20 years, as the word ‘coon’ is demeaning to people of color (shown, Coon cheese in a supermarket)
Coon cheese (pictured) will be removed from Australian supermarkets after Canadian owners have announced that they will rename the product
“We carefully and carefully investigated this sensitive situation,” said the CEO of Saputo, who makes the cheese, said Lino Saputo Jr.
“We wanted to make sure we listened to all concerns around the brand name COON, while also taking into account comments from consumers who cherish the brand and recognize the origin of founder Edward William Coon, with whom they feel connected.
After careful consideration, Saputo has decided to discontinue the COON brand name.
“As part of this transformation process, we are committed to keeping our stakeholders informed as we move forward.
“We are currently working to develop a new brand name that will honor the brand affinity of our valued consumers while reflecting current attitudes and perspectives.”
The company claims the controversial product was named after Edward William Coon, who patented a “ maturing process ” used in the 1920s to manufacture the original product.
Last month, Aboriginal activist Stephen Hagan sent the company an email about the name change.
In his email correspondence, Dr. Hagan said that the brand name should be sent ‘to the past of outdated racist brands’.
Aboriginal activist Stephen Hagan led the call for a brand name review (photo)
Dr. Hagan said the word ‘raccoon’ is demeaning to people of color, especially First Nations people in Australia, because it was used by oppressors to belittle them as a race.
He also asked the company to investigate the origin of the company’s name amid doubts about Edward Coon’s existence.
It is not his first attempt to ban the dairy product after he made a complaint to the Committee on Human Rights and Equal Opportunities for the same purpose in 1999.
Many companies around the world have changed product names in the wake of the movement.
Classic Australian lollipops Redskins and Chicos are being renamed so they don’t ‘marginalize’ the consumer.
The decision was made by the brand’s parent company, Nestle, because a redskin is a slang term for Native Americans in the US where it was considered offensive, while chico, which is Spanish for ‘boy’, is also used in a derogatory way .
Redskins (above) have been enjoyed by children in Australia and New Zealand for decades
Generations of Australian children also enjoyed Chicos, above, for their chocolate flavor – not knowing that the term was considered offensive to those of Latin American descent.