ZURICH — Swiss International Air Lines recently decided to discontinue working with the prestigious chocolatier Läderach reportedly due to “negative press” and subsequent feedback about the company’s opposition to homosexuality and abortion.
The Swiss news outlet Beobachter reports that the airline had been gifting the chocolate to premium passengers for 10 years, but after headlines such as “Chocolate King Fights Against Abortion and Homosexuals,” some patrons and employees began to comment about the matter.
It was “clearly too much for the airline, which has many gay crew members,” Beobachter opined.
Läderach’s CEO, Johannes Läderach, is a Christian, and his father is the president of the local branch of the organization Christianity for Today, as well as a treasurer for the Switzerland March for Life.
The Swiss Broadcasting Corporation reports that some members of the public have lashed out at Läderach over its stance on life and marriage, as homosexual and abortion “rights” advocates have accused it of “funding hatred.”
“In October, a store in Basel had to be evacuated following a stink bomb attack,” the outlet explains. “In December, same-sex couples hugged and kissed outside a Läderach branch in Zug.”
In September, members of the socialist JUSO Graubünden held a protest in front of one store, releasing a statement decrying the company’s affiliation with “Christian fundamentalist circles” and its donations to such causes.
“The inciting of this hatred is unacceptable. Women hate and LGBTQ hate have no place in our free, democratic society, so we call for a boycott of Läderach,” it said. “Free development of life and self-determination of people are the cornerstones on which our society is built, and archaic, dusty thought patterns have neither space nor are they acceptable.”
But Läderach says that the chocolate manufacturer doesn’t hate anyone, as it never asks about a person’s sexuality in hiring and the majority of its managers are women.
“Because I fight for the unborn life, I’m accused of misogyny. But I’m not a misogynist,” he told NZ am Sonntag. “I understand it if people value a woman’s right to choose more than an unborn child’s right to life. But I ask for understanding for my opinion. I’m allowed to have a different opinion.”
The CEO states that the company has lost some customers due to the beliefs of its leadership, but other customers have begun frequenting its shops out of support for the Christian chocolatier. He said that the business continued to grow in 2019 despite the opposition.
Swiss International Air Lines has had little to say about the decision to drop the company, which will reportedly go into effect officially in April.
Läderach also has stores in the United States (New York and New Jersey), Canada and the United Kingdom. In 2018, Elias Läderach was named World Chocolate Master in a confection competition in Paris, France.