business news in context, analysis with attitude

McCain Foods yesterday posted the following message on LinkedIn:

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has been deeply concerning to all of us at McCain Foods. Our thoughts continue to be with those affected by this crisis and we have done everything in our power to put the health and safety of our employees at the centre of our response.

On February 24, we stopped construction at our Russian production facility in the Tula Oblast region. We have now made the decision to discontinue the project entirely. In addition, we are also suspending all shipments of our products into the Russian market.

To help contribute to the global relief efforts underway, we recently donated $200,000 to the Red Cross Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal.

We are always guided in these decisions by the ethics and perspective of being a family-owned business from New Brunswick, Canada. As the global market leader in prepared French fries and specialty potato products, McCain Foods takes our leadership role seriously across the 160 countries that we operate in.

KC's View:

We've been writing about the companies that have not been making these kinds of moves, and so I thought it was important to highlight a company that seems to be doing it right.

The Wall Street Journal this morning has a piece about how "the world’s biggest makers of household staples have vowed to stop selling all but the bare essentials in Russia."  Except that "staples," in some cases, includes "Lay’s potato chips, Gillette razors and Air Wick home fragrances … along with several brands of ice cream, a line of children’s cosmetics and natural facial cleansers."

Which suggests to me that in some cases, companies are more concerned with their bottom lines than with drawing the line on a war criminal who is trying to bludgeon a nascent democracy into subservience or, failing that, oblivion, and who is threatening the world with nuclear arms.

When the history of this is written, I think it will treat the leaders of these companies harshly.  Perhaps more problematic is the fact that Ukraine is playing out on screens - large and small - all over the world.  There will be no place for these companies to hide, and memories may be long.