Land O'Lakes removes Native American woman from packaging, shifts focus to farmers

After 92 years, Minnesota-based Land O'Lakes has removed the image of a Native American woman from its packaging. 

A news release from the company states the new package design features "Farmer Owned" in large text over the familiar background of green pine trees and a blue lake. Some butter packages show an image of farmers standing in a field with the words, "Proud to be Farmer-Owned: As a farmer owned co-op, we stand together to bring you the very best in dairy."

The former logo displaying the Native American woman has been criticized as culturally insensitive by some in the past. Land O'Lakes President and CEO Beth Ford did not cite that as the motivation for the change in appearance in a news release.

“As Land O’Lakes looks toward our 100th anniversary, we’ve recognized we need packaging that reflects the foundation and heart of our company culture—and nothing does that better than our farmer-owners whose milk is used to produce Land O’Lakes’ dairy products,” said Ford in a press release. 

"As a farmer-owned co-op, we strongly feel the need to better connect the men and women who grow our food with those who consume it," she went on to say.

Land O'Lakes says the new packaging has been released on several products already, with more coming in 2020.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated to reflect Land O'Lakes President and CEO Beth Ford provided quotes via a news release, not in an interview.