Calls to can Goya Foods grow after CEO repeats Trump's election lies

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<span>Photograph: Larry Marano/REX/Shutterstock</span>
Photograph: Larry Marano/REX/Shutterstock

Calls for a boycott of Goya beans, chickpeas and other foodstuffs have grown louder after chief executive Robert Unanue made a series of false claims about the presidential election in a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, in Florida on Sunday.

Related: Trump grasps for relevance in first post-presidential speech at CPAC

Unanue has previously courted controversy with praise for Donald Trump, which last year prompted Ivanka Trump to pose, infamously, with a can of Goya beans.

Onstage in Orlando, Unanue called Donald Trump “the real, legitimate and still actual president of the United States”.

He also falsely claimed the presidential election that Trump lost conclusively to Joe Biden and the state contest in Georgia, which Biden won narrowly, were “not legitimate”, and claimed mail-in ballots were fraudulent.

“We still have faith,” Unanue said, “that the majority of the people of the United States voted for the president … I think a great majority of the people in the United States voted for President Trump, and even a few Democrats.”

Biden won more than 81m votes, or 51.3% of the total cast, to more than 74m for Trump. The Democrat won the electoral college 306-232, a margin Trump called a landslide when it was in his favour over Hillary Clinton.

Trump has continued to lie about the election, in January inciting supporters to attack the US Capitol in a bid to stop the ratification of results. That led to his second impeachment, which ended with his second acquittal. The former president repeated his lies about the election in his own speech at CPAC, on Sunday night.

Unanue has previously been censured by his company for speaking in support of Trump. In January, owner Andy Unanue told the New York Post: “Bob does not speak for Goya Foods when he speaks on TV. The family has diverse views on politics, but politics is not part of our business. Our political point of views are irrelevant.”

Robert Unanue said then: “I don’t believe I should speak politically or in a faith-based manner on behalf of the company. But I leave open the possibility of speaking on behalf of myself.”

After his remarks at CPAC on Sunday, the journalist Soledad O’Brien tweeted: “Folks at Goya should be embarrassed.”

The speech also prompted renewed calls for a boycott of Goya products.

“No more chickpeas from Goya for me,” tweeted one famous consumer, Joy Behar, a cohost of The View on ABC.

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