Coon cheese to be ‘retired’ after 21-year fight to change its name


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Activist and businessman Dr Stephen Hagan, who has spent the past 21 years fighting for the brand to be renamed, welcomed the decision.

“I am relieved more than anything else,” Dr Hagan said. “But with that relief comes concern about the intensity of criticism from people who object strongly to any change to a little bit of yellow culinary item that people have on their meals. That worries me more than anything else.”

But Dr Hagan said the long fight, which included an unsuccessful 1999 complaint to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, had been worth it.

“I don’t take delight in doing it, but I was offended by these things and I felt it was something I could do. I had capacity to do it,” he said.

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“I have been unrelenting in my campaign to bring about change, and I have had some wins and I have had a lot of losses. This is another win I can chalk up.”

In the statement, Saputo said the company had conducted “a careful and diligent review of a sensitive situation”.

“We wanted to ensure we listened to all the concerns surrounding the Coon brand name, while also considering comments from consumers who cherish the brand and recognise the origin of its founder Edward William Coon, which they feel connected to,” it said.

“After thorough consideration, Saputo has decided to retire the Coon brand name. We are working to develop a new brand name that will honour the brand-affinity felt by our valued consumers while aligning with current attitudes and perspectives.”

The recent Black Lives Matter protests around the world prompted some companies to reassess their brand names. Confectionery giant Nestle recently announced it would change its Allen’s brand Red Skins and Chicos lollies.

Dr Hagan said he would continue fighting to change the names of brands, places and landmarks that were discriminatory.

“It takes a long time to bring about change. A lot of people are steeped in racial bias. I would like to change Samboy chips. I would like to get rid of golliwogs from stores and supermarkets,” he said.

“I will continue to highlight these things as I see fit, whenever they are brought to my attention.”

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Coronavirus: Brent crude hits 21-year low after rout for US prices | Business News


Oil prices have fallen sharply after an unprecedented collapse in the value of US oil that saw costs fall into negative territory for the first time.

Brent crude, the international benchmark, fell below $20 a barrel on Tuesday – a drop of more than 20% – as concerns grew that global storage space was running out.

Demand has collapsed because the disruption caused by the coronavirus crisis means there is a massive supply glut.

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The RAC says petrol could fall below £1 a litre

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures contracts for May were priced at -$40 a barrel on Monday, meaning traders were actually being paid at least $40 to buy a barrel of oil.

It reflected the fact that holders of the contracts could be left with a load of oil and nowhere to store it.

Analysts said Brent turned sharply lower on Tuesday as the market realised that even sharp production cuts – ordered by the so-called Opec+ group of oil-producing nations from next month – would still mean far more oil would be pumped than is needed for a saturated market.

Contracts for June delivery Brent crude hit $18.10 on Tuesday – the lowest level since July 1999. It but later recovered a little but was still below $20 by the time the London market closed.

Lord Browne, the former BP chief executive, told Sky’s Ian King Live that given the “huge” levels of oil stockpiles he would expect prices “to remain sluggish for quite some time”.

He acknowledged that a potentially lengthy period of weakness in the market could have major geopolitical consequences as countries which are dependent on it have to “cut their cloth”

Pointing to the Maduro regime in Venezuela as one such example, he added: “There may be some real tensions around the world.”

As oil prices slumped on Tuesday, there was contagion on stock markets with the FTSE 100 closing 3% lower and New York’s Dow Jones seeing a similar fall.

On the FTSE, UK-listed energy giants BP and Royal Dutch Shell closed more than 3% and 4% lower respectively.

Emma Wall, head of investment analysis at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Coronavirus, as with so much of the market movement over the past two months, is at the bottom of the rout.

“Without a fully-functioning economy – industry, agriculture and services – there is a reduced demand for oil, and a heightened risk of recession.”

Despite the dive in oil costs, there may be little change to prices on UK forecourts for motorists – the few using their vehicles.

The RAC said there was scope for unleaded costs to fall to levels not seen since 2015.

The rush hour traffic is pictured on the M25 motorway near St Albans, Britain, March 16, 2020. REUTERS/Matthew Childs
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The lockdown means few drivers will benefit from falling fuel costs

The motoring group’s fuel spokesman, Simon Williams, added: “It’s right that retailers charge a fair price for fuel that reflects the price of the raw product, and in theory petrol prices could fall below £1 per litre if the lower wholesale costs were reflected at the pumps.

“But at the same time people are driving very few miles so they’re selling vastly lower quantities of petrol and diesel at the moment. This means many will be at pains to trim their prices any further.

“We also continue to be concerned about smaller forecourts that provide a vital service in areas where the supermarkets don’t have a foothold as many are already finding conditions tough with sales having fallen off a cliff since lockdown.

“It would be bad news all round if these forecourts shut up shop for good.”



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