Photo Credits: Britannica
Switzerland is a country with rich history of chocolate-making and that is the reason why Switzerland's international airline (SWISS) has a policy to welcome every passenger with free chocolate. Their primary agreement is with Chocolate Frey. However, premium passengers have been provided with Läderach pralines and this partnership has lasted for about 10 years. Now SWISS has decided to cancel the agreement with Läderach, one of the nation's best chocolatiers, beginning April this year. The decision was made earlier in 2019 because company CEO Johannes Läderach, who is an evangelic Christian, has a vocal and public stance against same-sex marriage and abortion.
Johannes Läderach's fight against same-sex marriage and abortion has led the company into controversy in recent months and many LGBTQ organizations have called for a boycott of Läderach chocolates. Last year, during October and December, protests were organized against Läderach company and even one of the company's stores was stink-bombed in protest. Another, more peaceful protest in front of a Läderach store, included same-sex couples engaging in public displays of affection.
All of this provoked a reaction from Johannes Läderach who tried to explain that he is not a misogynist or homophobic: “I understand it if people value a woman’s right to choose more than an unborn child’s right to life. But I ask for understanding for my opinion. I’m allowed to have a different opinion. No one at Läderach is homophobic – neither the management nor the staff. We have homosexuals working for us. We don’t ask about it. Läderach has a zero-tolerance policy regarding discrimination,” said Johannes, as OneMileataTime.com reports.
Not asking about something doesn't mean that you accept it. Even though Läderach company hires gay workers, the fact is their profits go into campaigns against LGBTQ and abortion rights. Furthermore, Johannes Läderach is a member of an advocacy group called Christianity for Today (formerly Christians for Truth) together with his father, Jürg Läderach, who is even the president of the group. The group's secretary also comes from Läderach company. Actions and campaigns performed by this group are directed against same-sex marriage, medically assisted dying, pornography, and fornication, as well as media properties like Harry Potter.
Läderach company's support to groups like Christianity for Today and Johannes Läderach's stance against LGBTQ and abortion rights have provoked protests from LGBTQ organizations. Therefore, SWISS has decided not to get involved with further cooperation with Läderach.
According to OneMileataTime.com, the chocolate company’s head of marketing confirmed that the decision was made due to negative coverage of the chocolate company. While a SWISS spokesperson didn’t go into detail other than saying factors when choosing suppliers include “the quality, various economic factors and the brand fit.”