Pub giant Greene King is one of two of Britain’s biggest businesses to announce that they will will donate to projects benefiting ethnic minorities after an academic database highlighted their roles in the slave trade
Greene King , along with insurance firm Lloyd’s of London both said they would pay after historical links to slavery were pointed out in a University College London index.
Greene King was founded in 1799 by Benjamin Greene, who was one of 47,000 people who benefited from a policy of compensating slave owners when Britain abolished slavery in 1833.
When slavery was abolished in the British empire in 1833, the government agreed to pay compensation, and records have revealed that Greene was given the equivalent of about £500,000 at today’s rate when he surrendered rights to plantations in Montserrat and Saint Kitts.
He handed over control of his brewery to his son three years later and it was given its current name after a merger in 1887.
Speaking earlier this week Nick Mackenzie, Greene King’s chief executive said the company would update the website on Thursday and offered an unqualified apology.
He said: “It is inexcusable that one of our founders profited from slavery and argued against its abolition in the 1800s. We don’t have all the answers, so that is why we are taking time to listen and learn from all the voices, including our team members and charity partners, as we strengthen our diversity and inclusion work.”
He added that Greene King would make a “substantial investment to benefit the BAME community and support our race diversity in the business as we increase our focus on targeted work in this area.”