Coopers, which has been battling controversy over its links with the Bible Society, has expressed its support for marriage equality after consumers and pubs began boycotting its products.
The company has now issued a video statement from MD Tim Cooper and director of finance and corporate affairs Melanie Cooper two days after a Bible Society video, which features two Liberals MPs discussing marriage equality and drinking Coopers, gained traction online.
In the statement, Tim Cooper says: “On behalf of the Coopers board and senior staff, we are incredibly saddened by the impact our involvement with the Bible Society has had on our valued Coopers drinkers and our extended family.”
“As a longstanding philanthropic company, Coopers Brewery has been passionate about supporting all aspects of our community, and has actively and financially embraced many different organisations.
“Our company’s guiding principles have centred around respect for others, and, as such, the recent activity surrounding the video made by the Bible Society has conflicted with our core values. Coopers never intended to make light of such an important issue, and would never and did not approve the making or release of the Bible Society video ‘debate’.”
Melanie Cooper says: "We've listened to a range of community views, we acknowledge this feedback, and we respect eveyone's opinions and beliefs.
"We've consequently cancelled the release of our Bible Society commemorative cans and we'll be takign steps to show further support for our community, including joining Marriage Equality Australia."
The controversial Bible Society video followed the release by the brewery last week of a commemorative Premium Light beer with bible verses from the Bible Society printed on the cans.
At the time, Tim Cooper said the collaboration made good sense.
“As brewers we consider that beer is the alcoholic beverage of moderation, and clearly light beer is an effective way to combine flavour and promote moderation.”
“Coincidentally, the slogan for the Bible Society is ‘Live Light’, so the choice of Coopers Light for the celebratory can made elegant good sense.”
Since the Bible Society video, however, a number of pubs have taken Coopers beer off their taps even though Coopers denied any involvement in the controversial Keeping it Light video content series.
Bible Society Australia CEO Greg Clarke said Coopers Foundation had been a strong supporter of its work, in particular the provision of bibles for the defence forces.
According to Eternity News, there were 10,000 cartons released of the beer emblazoned with a bible verse.