Coon name to come under the spotlight again

Posted by James Ferre on 26th September 2008

Coon, the popular Australian brand of cheese owned by Dairy Farmers, is likely to face scrutiny regarding its name from an anti-racism campaigner.

Toowoomba academic Stephen Hagan, who this week helped ensure a grandstand at Toowoomba Sports Ground would not be named E.S. “Nigger” Brown, has turned his attention toward Coon, according to AAP.

Mr Hagan is not convinced that the brand, which was originally owned by Kraft, was not named after a common racial slur. “Initially, Dairy Farmers said it was named after Edward Coon, who revolutionised the speeding process of making cheese,” he told AAP. “But I’ve questioned the authenticity of that story.”

He is now asking for proof of Edward Coon’s connection to the cheese industry via evidence of his honourary doctorate.

Kraft and Dairy Farmers have both previously refuted claims that the name has connections to the racial slur and maintain it refers to the ‘Cooning’ process first created by Edward Coon. This process involves the fast maturation of cheese using high temperatures.

The name has previously been questioned by anti-racism campaigners, with a campaign in the 90’s failing. Mr Hagan’s campaign against the name began in 1999 after he allegedly received a letter from the Ku Klux Klan, which used the word ‘coon’ as a racial slur.