In a surprising move today, Ishukone Corporation issued a statement criticizing Sukuuvestaa’s involvement in the manufacture, shipping, and sale of the so-called "protein delicacy" line of products. The statement read, in part, “No good can come of the sort of predatory and mercenary scrambling after profits that this sort of behavior belies." This is the first time in recent memory one of the major Caldari corporations spoke out against the practices of a peer.
Long known for their lobbying in favor of fair trade and labor practices and their diplomatic work between the empires, Ishukone broke with tradition by issuing the strongly worded statement, which stopped just short of directly condemning rival Sukuuvestaa, but mirrored sentiment popular in Gallentean space: Sukuuvestaa went too far in search of profits.
"We join with our friends and colleagues in the Gallentean Federation and here among the Caldari State in calling for vigorous and sustained inquiry as to how and why the usual standards of quality were circumvented in such a shocking manner," the statement continued, "and we pledge to our customers both domestically and abroad that Ishukone would never allow such corruption to taint our products or endeavours."
In a further "effort of goodwill on behalf of the Caldari people," Ishukone offered to buy back any remaining stores of the "protein delicacy" products from Gallentean individuals or corporations, and pledged that any such material purchased in this manner would be "provided to the State inquiry boards as evidence or destroyed."
While expensive, this reimbursement program is sure to generate goodwill among the Gallenteans still saddled with shipments of the questionable foodstuff. "It will result in significant amounts of negative cashflow," said Ishukone representative Marrada Itonula, "but it will generate positive feeling among those whose goodwill Caldari business may have lost. That goodwill is priceless to Ishukone, and we would pay any price to buy it back."
One Gallentean citizen agrees. "When this thing came to light, I thought 'I'll never give a Caldari company another isk,'" said Giul Varek, a Federation citizen and self-proclaimed gourmand. "Can you imagine? Feeding our children recycled biomass and other filth ... it's disgusting. But Ishukone changed my mind—they've always been fair and honorable, and this buy back program is proof of that." When asked if he'd ever consider buying another Sukuuvestaa product, Varek said, "Absolutely not, but I've already requested a catalog of culinary equipment from Ishukone."
Official inquiries into the protein delicacy scandal are ongoing, but preliminary reports strongly indicate both prior knowledge and intent by leading Sukuuvestaa executives. Whether the Caldari State retaliates with fines or sanctions against the company, long criticized for practices that seem to put profit above all other considerations, Sukuuvestaa is already suffering as a result of this scandal. Sukuuvestaa stock has declined to near an annual low, and sales of Sukuuvestaa foodstuffs have fallen nearly 85%.