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Flora-owner Upfield cuts ties with Mumsnet over website’s ‘transphobic’ content

Emma Powys Maurice October 11, 2019
Mumsnet Flora boycott

Flora advertised its partnership with Mumsnet on its packaging (Twitter/@Mimmymum)

The popular butter spread, Flora, has become the latest brand to cut ties with the UK parenting forum Mumsnet due to its ‘transphobic’ content.

Examples of strong anti-trans sentiment from some Mumsnetters include anger over the NHS’s rainbow badges and a boycott of the Co-op after an advert for strawberries featured a trans woman.

Flora had teamed up with Mumsnet to do a ‘taste test’ and subsequently advertised its partnership with the site by adding a ‘Mumsnet Rated’ symbol to the tubs.

This has now ceased after pressure from trans advocates, led by the pro-trans feminist @mimmymum, who urged Flora to “stop funding transphobia”.

She tweeted Flora’s owner, Upfield, noting their diversity and inclusion statement which pledges a commitment to equal opportunity and an intolerance of discrimination and harassment.

Seeing this, several other Twitter users joined her in condemning Flora’s association with ‘transphobic’ Mumsnetters.

Upfield replied: “We take our Human Rights and Diversity policies very seriously and so do our brands. Thank you for raising this issue and we’re currently investigating.”

But it didn’t take long for them to reach a decision, as just a day later they announced they’d be ditching Mumsnet.

“We’ve investigated. We are wholly committed to our values, which include treating everyone equally, so have made the decision to no longer work with Mumsnet. #DiversityMatters” they tweeted.

Mumsnet responded with a statement defending the right of “free speech” of those using the site.

“Mumsnet will always stand in solidarity with minority communities. We don’t tolerate transphobic comments and will delete any when they are flagged to us. But we do also believe strongly in free speech.

“The discussion of gender self-id and what that might mean for very hard-won women’s rights, as well as the rapidly growing number of children exploring gender identity issues, is contentious.

“We know some people would like us to simply censor this entire debate but a similar number think we censor too much. We’re committed to allowing respectful discussion of an issue that is of particular interest to parents.”

Flora’s not the first brand to distance itself from Mumsnet: the frozen food giant Birds Eye severed ties with the site in April, and children’s charity NSPCC was forced to end a Facebook Live chat after Mumsnetters flooded it with a slew of ‘transphobic’ comments.

As expected, Mumsnet commenters responded to Flora’s announcement by urging a boycott of the spread and all of Upfield’s other products too.

More: boycott, flora, Mumsnet, transphobia

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