It took two decades for Stephen Hagan’s arguments to be heard. This activist fought for the name of Australian cheese “Coon”, which can be translated as “nègre” in French, to be changed because of its racist character. On Wednesday January 13, the Saputo cheese dairy announced that the cheese was renamed “Hourra” (“Cheer” in English).
The original name, Coon, was both that of an employee working for an American cheese factory and an insult to people of African descent.
Coon Cheese rebrands in Australia after anti-racism campaign….. how did this take so long? #Disgrace https://t.co/EC1uibvx9u
— Jamie Pinder (@nangronginfo) January 13, 2021
Stephen Hagan, a native Australian writer, had drafted a petition calling for this cheese to be renamed and addressed to the former owners of the company. He hadn’t won his case so far.
Since then, the Saputo cheese dairy has revised its copy after “careful and diligent examination” and with the aim of being in line with “current mentalities and perspectives”, closer to consumers.
“Treating people with respect and without discrimination is one of our basic principles and it is imperative that we continue to respect it in everything we do,” said Lino Saputo, the CEO, in a statement. The document also states that the “Hooray” will be available in Australian supermarkets from July.
The anti-racist movements that have crossed the world in recent months have led several brands to take a similar approach. Two months ago, for example, Nestlé decided to rename the candies “Red Skin” and “Chicos”, considering that these names no longer corresponded to the values of the company.
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