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Barilla Responds To Furore Over Chairman's Remarks

Published on Sep 30 2013 8:54 AM in A-Brands

Barilla Responds To Furore Over Chairman's Remarks

Pasta giant Barilla has released a statement following the furore over chairman Guido Barilla's anti-gay remarks.

'At Barilla, we care about everyone, regardless of race, religion, belief, gender or sexual orientation. Our mission is to help people – every single person – live better, by bringing wellbeing and the joy of eating into their everyday lives', Barilla said in a statement on Friday.

The pasta company added, 'We value and respect a family that includes everyone'.

Guido Barilla, who controls the fourth-generation Barilla Group family business with his two brothers, sparked outrage among activists, consumers and some politicians when he said he would not consider using a gay family to advertise Barilla pasta.

"For us the concept of the sacred family remains one of the basic values of the company," he told Italian radio on Wednesday evening. "I would not do it but not out of a lack of respect for homosexuals who have the right to do what they want without bothering others … [but] I don't see things like they do and I think the family that we speak to is a classic family."

Asked what effect he thought his attitude would have on gay consumers of pasta, Barilla said: "Well, if they like our pasta and our message they will eat it; if they don't like it and they don't like what we say they will … eat another."

The company said that they would 'take advantage of the recent incident to learn and promote even harder the diversity path that Barilla has undertaken'.

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'To all our friends, family, employees and partners that we have hurt or offended, we are deeply sorry', Barilla added.

Commenting on Thursday, Guido Barilla said, "To all those who have been offended, including the thousands of employees and partners who work with Barilla around the world, I apologize for and regret my insensitive comments. I understand that they were hurtful and they are not a genuine view of my opinion."

 

© 2013 - ESM: European Supermarket Magazine by Ellen Lunney

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