Support companies who have cancelled their shipping accounts with FedEx over its refusal to cut ties with the National Rifle Association (NRA).
If you run a business, sooner or later, you have to ship things. If you make and sell products for the general public, shipping is your lifeblood. Reliable shipping companies are worth more than gold. You don’t dump them on a whim.
To explain how FedEx became a problem in the first place, we at OTYCD need to give you some background information.
In late February 2018, following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the American public pressured several big brands to withdraw discounts and other benefits that they had offered to NRA members. (Scroll down to see a New York Times article that lists the entities that cut ties.)
One company, Delta Airlines, suffered for its stance when the state government of Georgia, home to the airline, punished it by passing a tax relief bill that pointedly excluded a $40 to 50 million tax break on jet fuel that had once been part of the bill.
Georgia Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle went so far as to tweet on February 26:
I will kill any tax legislation that benefits
@Delta unless the company changes its position and fully reinstates its relationship with @NRA. Corporations cannot attack conservatives and expect us not to fight back.
Because Delta did not actually have the tax break when Cagle made his threat on social media, it’s unclear if the lieutenant governor broke the law. (Scroll down for a Politifact article that addresses this question.)
Delta countered that only 13 people had used the NRA discount, which was for group travel. In a memo to Delta employees issued on March 2, 2018, CEO Ed Bastian said, “Our decision was not made for economic gain and our values are not for sale. We are in the process of a review to end group discounts for any group of a politically divisive nature.”
FedEx has declined to end its relationship with the NRA. A February 27, 2018 Time magazine story quotes an unnamed spokesperson for the company, saying it “has never set or changed rates for any of our millions of customers around the world in response to their politics, beliefs or positions on issues.” (Scroll down for the Time story.)
Around the same time, FedEx issued a formal statement that it later updated to address other concerns about its relationship with the NRA. See the full statement:
Because of Fedex’s refusal to quit working with the NRA, several companies, some known and many less well-known, are taking their business elsewhere.
This is a landing page that lists companies who have quit FedEx over its refusal to quit the NRA. We at OTYCD ask you to support these business that have left FedEx with your dollars. Failing that, please follow the social media accounts of these companies and their leaders.
Rancho Gordo, a Napa Valley-based seller of heirloom beans. In a February 28, 2018 San Francisco Chronicle article, Rancho Gordo founder Stephen Sando said, “To me, this is a moral issue… These kids who survived (the shooting) are amazing, and I want to do something to support them. It’s beyond politics at this point.” He stated that Rancho Gordo paid about $500,000 to FedEx for shipping services in 2017.
Over several days in late February, he tweeted the following messages from the @RanchoGordo Twitter account:
@fedex : We’re having a management meeting this week to determine our relationship with you. Your silence re @NRA is making our decision easier. Please make a public statement. We would rather you were a partner instead of a problem.
You are doing the work that congress is too chicken to do. Congrats to you
@DICKS for your common sense efforts. Thank you!
NRA is wild. Yesterday all the complaints referred to my “emotional” decision. Not one, but many. Today they all talk about “knee jerk” reactions. I love the coordination but to be clear: This was a slow and painful decision to drop
@FedEx and I still hope they come around.
You can buy Rancho Gordo products through its website:
Jeni’s Ice Cream. Founder Jeni Britton Bauer first revealed her thoughts in a late February Instagram post (@jenibrittonbauer) that said:
- jenibrittonbauer@fedex @fedexhelp#teamjenis loves you! But we’re not playing around. Our customers are demanding action from us. Drop your support of the NRA or we will be looking at other options. That’s almost 100,000 shipments — and more projected this year.
On February 26 on her Twitter account (@JeniSplendid), she said:
@FedEx @FedExHelp we [heart emoji] you but team Jeni’s will begin to explore other options today. We are not your biggest customer, but you KNOW we’re not small either. Remember that semi truck you docked on our bay just for us last holiday? Drop your support of the @NRA please.
The next day, she tweeted the following, which might be worrisome but does not actually say anything about staying with FedEx:
I spent much of yesterday having long and respectful conversations with people who have different views than my own. I’m feeling energized and inspired by those and will continue to listen! Thank you! I am only ONE voice at Jeni’s. There are many others.
We at OTYCD will continue to check in on the situation. If Jeni’s does not follow through with switching to another shipper, we will update accordingly. In the meantime, please encourage her to keep her word and take her business elsewhere.
It should be noted that Bauer probably faces the toughest choice of any manufacturer on this list because she deals exclusively in perishables. Having a shipping company that she can trust to deliver ice cream without it turning into a puddle of sweet soup before it reaches her customers is vital. The stakes are higher for her.
You can buy Jeni’s ice cream through its website:
Other companies that have turned away from FedEx over its NRA stance can only be supported indirectly, but it’s worth the effort.
World of Wonder, which produces the television shows RuPaul’s Drag Race, Million-Dollar Listing, and others, has stopped relying on FedEx.
On February 27, Randy Barbato, Co-CEO of World of Wonder, tweeted:
World of Wonder also announced the move on its website:
Hollywood talent agency ICM Partners has also quit FedEx over its refusal to drop the NRA. Forbes confirmed the news with ICM, which seems to have broken via a March 1, 2018 tweet from ICM client-actress Piper Perabo:
ICM Partners, one of the big talent agencies in Hollywood, just stopped using
@FedEx in light of @FedEx discounts to @NRA. Thank you ICM. Your client, Piper #NeverAgain @TheGershAgency @paradigmagency @WME @caafoundation @unitedtalent Will you join us for #GunReformNow?
ICM Partners does not publish a complete list of people who it represents, but the Television section of its website names specific shows it’s had a hand in, its Concerts section leads to a search engine for its artist roster, and its Broadcasting section names and shows pictures of sportscasters, television journalists, and other well-known people who it works with in that realm.
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Read the February 28, 2018 article in which Stephen Sando of Rancho Gordo explains his decision:
Read a February 28, 2018 Grub Street post about Jeni Britton Bauer’s interest in breaking her company’s relationship with FedEx:
Read the February 27, 2018 Time story that quotes FedEx on its intention to continue dealing with the NRA:
Read the March 1, 2018 Forbes piece that confirms that ICM Partners has stopped doing business with FedEx:
Read a February 24, 2018 piece from the New York Times that tallies the companies who have cut ties with the NRA:
Read a Politifact piece on whether or not Georgia Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle broke the law when he threatened Delta’s tax break in a tweet:
Read a CNN story about the low number of people who availed themselves of Delta’s NRA discount:
See an Atlanta Constitution-Journal story that reproduces Delta CEO Ed Bastian’s March 2, 2018 memo to employees: