The following commentary does not necessarily reflect the views of AgPro or Farm Journal Media. The opinions expressed below are the author's own.
I took my family to Washington, D.C., in January to experience the historic week. We went to inaugural festivities, met with our congressional representatives, visited national monuments and attended protest rallies.
Does it seem like I’m obscure with any political agenda?
I’m not advocating any politics, and it’s even more important to stay neutral in the food and retail business. We’re in as politically charged and divided a time as many of us can remember. Nasty things are being said. Some protests include real violence. Friendships are being ended over who supports whom.
That is sad.
But everyone eats.
Am I saying you shouldn’t take a stand on an important injustice?
Yes, at least not with your food or retail brand. Go advocate all you want on your own time.
Also, stand up to those who want your brand to take a stand. It’s easy for them to risk your brand. It’s no risk to them. Tell them, “No, thanks.”
Should Mexican avocado marketers weigh in on the border wall? Should Canadian greenhouse vegetable growers impart their wisdom on Middle Eastern refugees? Should a Texas retail chain promote its support for the Second Amendment?
No, no, no!
There’s no winning with linking your brand to a political cause. There are only degrees of losing.
It’s hard enough to get people to eat their fruits and vegetables without some social media-inspired boycott of your brand. Don’t take the bait.