Earlier this year news broke about the Kellogg Company, the giant food conglomerate, opposing the use of a Toucan logo by the Maya Archaeology Initiative (MIA), a nonprofit committed to defending free expression and challenging repression of cultural heritages. On November 15, Kellogg announced it would be making a $100,000 contribution to help launch one of the MAI’s priority projects.
“We are pleased to support the MAI in its mission to protect and extend the rich history and culture of Mayan people,” said Tim Knowlton, Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility, Kellogg Company. “The Cultural Center promises to be a source of inspiration, pride and learning throughout the region.”
Kellogg’s original issue was the use of the Toucan was too similar to the corporation’s trademarked Toucan Sam character of the popular Froot Loops cereal. After the initial news was released both parties entered into negotiations, leading up to this announcement.
The donation will be used to improve the lives of the Maya people in a region rich in cultural heritage but in need of education and economic opportunities.
"Kellogg's important contribution to the Maya Archaeology Initiative will help us achieve our goal of building a Maya Cultural Center in Peten, the cradle of Maya history, so children, families and visitors can learn about the Maya and their rich heritage," said MAI President Dr. Francisco Estrada-Belli. "We are grateful to Kellogg for joining us in these efforts."
Kellogg will also be featuring major Mayan accomplishments and a link to MAI's website on Kellogg’s Froot Loops cereal boxes next year, according to the joint press release.
MAI is based in San Ramon, California and is a project of the World Free Press Institute (WFPI).