At our core, Aprati Foods Americas exists to invest in the happiness of both the local community in Cambodia where Aprati candy is made. We accomplish this by supporting the efforts of our supplier partner in Cambodia who has created a safe and empowering workplace, as well as through our donations to the Aagoah Foundation, an organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of education for Cambodian children. We are not immune to the turmoil occurring in the United States and feel that we must speak out against the injustice that the world is witnessing.
We cannot be silent as events unfold around us, but we had to take some time and ask ourselves “how can we actually make a difference?” We didn’t want to respond with something that doesn’t equate to action. We called upon a diverse group of trusted community members and associates who helped guide us how to best communicate our pledge:
A letter from American Licorice Company’s CEO, John Kretchmer:
As we process the events following the murder of George Floyd, we feel sadness, uncertainty, and anger brought on by the prejudice, hate, and inequality that permeate American life. Yet, we feel hope that the country is finally awakening to the problems of racial injustice and police brutality. We support peaceful protests and the Black Lives Matter movement.
It is hard to know what to say or do, and we realize silence is not the answer. Our core values of integrity, compassion, engagement, and teamwork require us to:
- Declare the worth and value of all people in black and minority communities;
- Stand with all those seeking action to stamp out racism, injustice, and inequality; and
- Encourage everyone to vote.
To turn these words into action, American Licorice Company commits to the following:
- Investing $300,000 in non-profit groups that serve black and minority communities;
- Continuing the internal reviews of our diversity practices to move the conversation of racial equality forward;
- Establishing a Diversity Council, including external members of the black community, to monitor our corporate diversity policy and guide our investments in black and minority communities; and
- Continuing to listen and learn about how we can support the long-term needs of black and minority communities.