Uncle Ben’s parent company Mars Inc, has said that it is looking to evolve the brand, including visually, however did not mention what exactly would be changed or when.
In a release, Mars stated that there was no room for discrimination in a healthy society and that it was the collective effort from individuals, communities and organisations all around the world that will replace discrimination and fear with humanity, empathy and caring.
But words alone aren’t enough. Systemic change requires action.
“We will be accelerating our work in several areas,” said the company. “This includes:
- Increasing diversity in our talent and leadership pipeline. This means setting meaningful targets and reporting our progress, and creating deeper recruitment partnerships with historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
- Investing in and partnering with organisations that fight for racial equity. We will support organisations that fight for equity, diversity and support Black-owned businesses.
- Expanding trainings and educational resources. This includes expanding our mandatory bias training for our 125,000 Associates globally, helping us make sure each Mars Associate knows they belong.
- Improving diversity across our marketing, advertising, sourcing and supplier communities. An example of this is our decision to evolve the UNCLE BEN’s brand.
This is a start, we know there is more to be done. We are open to the ideas and feedback from our Associates, consumers and partners on how we can play our part. And we will hold ourselves accountable to achieve meaningful change.”
Critics have highlighted the use of a Black man to be the face of a white company, saying that Black men were often referred to as ‘boy’ or ‘uncle’ to avoid calling them ‘Mr’ during the USA’s Jim Crow era of laws enforcing racial segregation, particularly in the Southern United States.