Goya CEO says Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was named “employee of the month” after calls for boycott

Goya Foods president and CEO Bob Unanue says his company named New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as an honorary “employee of the month” after she joined calls for a boycott of Goya products over the summer. 

Unanue, who is of Spanish descent, claimed in an interview on the Michael Berry Show on Monday that the progressive lawmaker caused a sales boom for Goya after she criticized the company. 

“When she boycotted us, our sales actually increased 1,000%,” Unanue claimed. “So we gave her an honorary, we never were able to hand it to her, but she got employee of the month for bringing attention to Goya and our adobo.”

He said the boycott attracted new customers to buy Goya – which has been in business for nearly 85 years – and maintained old ones. 

“You’re not going to change a consumer because one idiot like myself says something politically or whatever,” he said. 

Goya, which claims to be the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the U.S., is privately-owned and doesn’t disclose earnings. 

On Tuesday, Ocasio-Cortez responded to a Fox News clip of Unanue’s comments and ripped the news organization for not calling out the Trump administration’s response to COVID-19. 

“But of course Fox would rather indulge their made up fantasies than acknowledge that in the Trump admin’s catastrophic response to COVID, millions of people rushed to buy canned goods which then had to be rationed at grocery stores,” she said. 

“We know that neither ‘acknowledging science’ nor ‘food rationing under crony capitalism’ works in their understanding of reality so they’re gonna go with ‘food staples sold out because of a tweet once,'” she added. 

No, I just googled how to make my own adobo.

But of course Fox would rather indulge their made up fantasies than acknowledge that in the Trump admin’s catastrophic response to COVID, millions of people rushed to buy canned goods which then had to be rationed at grocery stores 🤔 https://t.co/qLHVNn5iJK

In July, Unanue praised President Donald Trump during a White House event, saying Americans are “truly blessed to have a leader” like Mr. Trump. Unanue and Goya faced backlash after his comments, prompting many prominent Latinos such as “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and former HUD secretary Julian Castro to call for a boycott of the company’s products. While she didn’t explicitly call for a boycott, Ocasio-Cortez told her Twitter followers that she was going to learn how to make her own adobo seasoning, a popular product sold by Goya. 

Oh look, it’s the sound of me Googling “how to make your own Adobo” https://t.co/YOScAcyAnC

Despite the opposition,  Unanue said he wasn’t apologizing for his comments and called the boycott attempt a “suppression of speech.” Weeks later, Ivanka Trump took a photo of her holding a Goya bean can, potentially raising ethical questions involving the picture. 

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