The “butter maiden” is no more.
Dairy co-operative Land O’Lakes has removed the image of a Native American woman from its butter packaging. The co-op’s logo depicted a Native American woman, kneeling on a mound of grass, holding a package of butter—an image that critics have said is offensive.
The company issued a press release in February, announcing it was revamping the label to showcase farmers and commemorate Land O’Lakes’ hundredth anniversary. But the press release didn’t even mention the “butter maiden.”
The original logo was painted in 1928, and has been updated a number of times over the years. The new label is very similar to the old one, with the obvious omission, and some new text that says “Farmer-Owned” above the Land O’Lakes brand mark and “Since 1921” below.
Land O’Lakes’ original label depicted a Native American woman holding a package of butter. Photo by littlenySTOCK on Shutterstock.
“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,” Beth Ford, the company’s president, said in the press release.
The change was welcomed by those who say the image is racist and an example of cultural appropriation. The new logo has already started to appear on packaging for some products, and will be fully rolled out by the end of 2020.