If you’ve been even minimally online in the last few days, you’ve likely seen the word “Goya” trending (and this time, it’s not because of a love letter to beans). Last week, the company’s CEO publicly praised President Donald Trump, resulting in a Goya boycott. Below, all the details on the canned food controversy.
What did the Goya CEO say?
Last Thursday, Goya CEO Bob Unanue was on hand at the White House to announce that his company would donate one million cans of chickpeas and another one million pounds of food to food banks in the United States as part of Trump’s Hispanic Prosperity Initiative. “We’re all truly blessed at the same time to have a leader like President Trump, who is a builder,” said Unanue, adding, “And so we have an incredible builder. And we pray. We pray for our leadership, our president, and we pray for our country, that we will continue to prosper and to grow.”
What happened next?
Social media erupted with consternation over Unanue’s comments, particularly from those who felt that voicing support for a president who has targeted and openly insulted Latinx immigrants and citizens was incongruous with a brand that is popular among many Latinx households.
A boycott of Goya products was quickly organized, with Unanue refusing to apologize and calling the response “a suppression of speech” (and seemingly forgetting that consumers have the right to purchase—or not purchase—products at will, and are not duty-bound to support a company whose political alignment they don’t agree with).
What’s Ivanka Trump’s role in all this?
The First Daughter jumped into the fray on Tuesday, tweeting a photo of herself holding up a can of Goya beans with the caption: “If it’s Goya, it has to be good” in English and Spanish.
What form is the boycott taking?
The purchase of a can or two of pinto beans might seem insignificant, but one of the most significant tools Americans have at our disposal is our purchasing power: instead of lining the coffers of a company that has freely demonstrated its support for Trump, some consumers—including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez—have turned to Twitter to share alternative recipes for sazón, adobo, and other popular Goya products.