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Greene King CEO apologises for brand’s ‘inexcusable’ slavery links

Pub operator Greene King has said that the brand’s historical association with 19th Century slavery was “inexcusable”.

The group’s apology follows revelations that one of the operator’s founders profited from 19th Century slavery, and argued against its abolition.

According to The Telegraph, founder Benjamin Greene was one of the 47,000 people who benefited from the UK Government’s decision to compensate slave-owning Britons when slavery was abolished in 1833.

Greene reportedly received around £500,000 when he surrendered right to three plantations in the West Indies.

On Wednesday night, Nick Mackenzie, Greene King’s chief executive, told The Telegraph the company would publish an apology on its site today (18 June) and offered an “unqualified apology”.

He said: “It is inexcusable that one of our founders profited from slavery and argued against its abolition in the 1800s. We don’t have all the answers, so that is why we are taking time to listen and learn from all the voices, including our team members and charity partners, as we strengthen our diversity and inclusion work.”

He added that Greene King would make a “substantial investment to benefit the BAME community and support our race diversity in the business as we increase our focus on targeted work in this area.”

Catering Today has contacted Greene King for comment.

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