Parma, Italy-based pasta giant Barilla on Monday announced that it was launching a diversity initiative.

The move comes roughly a month after CEO Guido Barilla came under intense criticism for saying that gay people “can go eat someone else's pasta” in explaining why gay and lesbian couples are not featured in the company's pasta ads.

“We won't include gays in our ads, because we like the traditional family,” Barilla said during a radio interview. “If gays don't like it, they can always eat another brand of pasta. Everyone is free to do what they want, provided it doesn't bother anyone else.”

He later added: “I have no respect for adoption by gay families because this concerns a person who is not able to choose.”

The comments provoked calls for a boycott.

Barilla quickly apologized, including a videotaped apology recorded in Italian and English.

“Yesterday, I apologized for offending many people around the world,” Barilla said in the English video. “Today I am repeating that apology. Through my entire life I have always respected every person I've met, including gays and their families, without any distinction. I've never discriminated against anyone.”

Barilla said in an emailed statement that it has established a Diversity & Inclusion Board which will “help Barilla establish concrete goals and strategies for improving diversity and equality in the company's workforce and culture with regards to sexual orientation, gender balance, disability rights and multicultural and intergenerational issues.”

The company added that it would appoint Talita Erickson as the company's first chief diversity officer and that it would participate in the HRC's Corporate Equality Index (CEI), which rates companies on their support for LGBT rights.

David Mixner, a prominent gay rights activist, author and former adviser to President Bill Clinton, has accepted a seat on Barilla's diversity board.

“I am encouraged by Barilla's commitment to seek outside guidance and advice on these crucial issues and pleased to be a part of it,” Mixner said. “I am also impressed with the willingness of the chairman and company to listen and learn from LGBT community leaders and work towards improving diversity, inclusion and equality.”