Despite Goya Food’s CEO Bob Unanue’s praising of President Trump’s leadership, Hispanic leaders have spoken up against boycotting the company
President Trump hosted an event at the White House last week, where he signed the Hispanic Prosperity Initiative, which is an effort to improve access to educational and economic opportunities for the Hispanic community. Many Hispanic leaders and politicians were present at the event, including Goya Foods CEO, Bob Unanue.
During his speech, Unanue praised President Trump, saying, “We’re all truly blessed at the same time to have a leader like President Trump, who is a builder.”
The statement from the CEO led to a domino effect of backlash, with Hispanic communities, celebrities, and leaders now boycotting the brand. However, many members of the Hispanic community believe that boycotting the brand is unfair, given how much Goya Foods has given to the Hispanic community.
Vice Chairman of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly in NYC, Baron Montalvo, recently posted a video to his Instagram in support of Goya Foods, using the hashtag #BuyGoya.
“This is one of the most successful Hispanic American companies ever that also donates to children in need. They recently donated food to schools in NYC,” said Montalvo in his caption.
“Their CEO supports Hispanic American success and that’s why he won’t back down from supporting the President!”
Part of Goya Foods supporting Hispanic American success is shown through their donations during the recovery efforts from the COVID-19 pandemic. In March and April 2020, the company donated over 300,000 pounds of food to food banks, organizations, and soup kitchens to assist in the COVID-19 relief effort. This is about 270,000 meals.
Unanue also announced plans for further donations during his speech at the White House. The CEO plans to donate 1 million cans of chickpeas and the same amount of food products to food banks in order to further assist families struggling due to the pandemic.
Further, this is not the first time that the brand has contributed to the wellbeing of the community. According to the Goya Foods mission statement, the company has always strived to be passionate about making a difference in their community. According to Total Social rankings, in 2018, Goya Foods was ranked #2 as leading U.S. food brand, due to its social influence an community support.
It is this level of community support that leads Fox News representative Alfredo Ortiz to believe that Goya “embodies the best of America.” Ortiz also notes that members of the community who are boycotting Goya need to remember that “Unanue is no partisan.”
Ortiz backed this statement by mentioning that Unanue collaborated with Michelle Obama’s nutritional campaign, “Let’s Move” and was recognized at the White House when President Obama was in office, during Hispanic Heritage Month in 2011. Thus, Ortiz does not believe that “cancel culture” should be boycotting Goya Foods for Unanue’s statement.
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, a Hispanic American, agrees with Hispanics who are against the boycott, sharing that his grandparents ate Goya black beans two times a day for 90 years. He believes that Goya is a staple of Cuban food, and boycotting the brand is an attempt to “silence free speech.”
Unanue agrees with this sentiment, as he defended his original statement praising President Trump, saying that boycotting his brand because of what he said is a “suppression of speech.”
“I’m not apologizing for saying—and especially when you’re called by the president of the United States—you’re gonna say, ‘no, I’m sorry. I’m busy, no thank you?” said Unanue.
For more information about Goya Foods and its products, visit https://www.goya.com/en/.