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SWISS drops chocolate maker accused of homophobia

A flight attendant attends to Swiss Business Class passengers
Swiss International Air Lines said a brand fit was important when choosing business partners Keystone

For ten years, little boxes of Läderach pralines were given to some passengers flying on Swiss International Air Lines. From mid-April this will no longer be the case, following negative headlines about the Läderach CEO’s opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion. 

The carrier dropped the maker of premium chocolate in November, according to a reportExternal link in Swiss news magazine Beobachter on Wednesday. 

Läderach’s head of marketing, Patrick Th. Onken, said the split was the result of Swiss having concerns about the negative coverage. 

Beobachter said headlines like “Chocolate king fights against abortion and homosexuals” in Zurich’s Tages-Anzeiger last September was “clearly too much for the airline, which has many gay crew members”. 

SWISS spokesperson Meike Fuhlrott didn’t go into details but said the decisive factors when choosing a supplier were “the quality, various economic factors and the brand fit”. 

‘Direct conversations’ 

Johannes Läderach, an evangelical Christian and company CEO, recently denied being homophobic or misogynist but repeated his opposition to same-sex marriage and a woman’s right to have an abortion. 

“Business continued to grow in 2019, but we have customers who no longer buy from us. However, new customers came into the shop,” he told the NZZ am SonntagExternal link.  

According to Beobachter, Läderach would not say how many companies had severed links, but the chocolate maker pointed out that “in almost all cases a direct conversation could clear up the situation”.



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