• After decades of efforts, the community has welcomed the name change. (Supplied)Source: Supplied
One campaigner has been fighting for the change for 20 years and says he can now enjoy the product.
Jennetta Quinn-Bates

28 Jun 2021 - 5:03 PM  UPDATED 30 Jun 2021 - 8:59 AM

The new packaging of CHEER cheese has started appearing on Australian supermarket shelves following its rebrand from C**N.

The change comes after a decades-long campaign by author and anti-racism campaigner Stephen Hagan, who says he started his fight in 1999.

“I just wanted the change. It’s taken 22 years and the change is happening. So in two weeks' time, as I said, it won't be on the shelves and that's a victory,” Hagan told NITV News.

Over the years, Hagan has presented his case to the Human Rights Commission and the Advertising Standards Bureau.

"Words like ab*, b**ng, c**n... They're words used that people use to put down people of colour. There’s been a lot of fights, a lot of bad things have happened with conflict over that name.

“They know what they’re doing, they know what they’re saying. So yeah, I'm glad they won't be able to make those disparaging remarks or comments to upset our mob.

"Every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander around Australia would have a story about C**N cheese.”

Previous manufacturers of the infamous cheese, KRAFT and Dairy Farmers, both defended the controversial product name, claiming it was derived from American Entrepreneur and cheesemaker Edward William Coon, who created a method for the cheese to mature faster.

In July last year Saputo, the company that now owns rights to the dairy products announced they would be retiring the C**N brand name after “a careful and diligent review of a sensitive situation.”

Hagan has always refuted the story put forward about the origin of the brand name, saying he and another researcher have “confirmed that it wasn’t named after Edward Coon at all,” a story he explores in an eBook titled, 'C**N: more hole than swiss cheese'.

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Following the rollout, Mr Hagan said he would now be more inclined to buy the product.

"Oh yes! Once (the old branding) is off the shelves completely, I will definitely try it.”

Members of the Aboriginal community also seem to be in support of the switch, with well-known musician Chloe Quayle, better known as Barkaa, taking to social media to express her gratitude for the name change.

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