Ben & Jerry’s rebukes parent company, says selling its ice cream on the West Coast is ‘against its merits’
Ben & Jerry’s board on Tuesday criticized the sale of products bearing any of the ice cream maker’s insignia in West Coast settlements, the latest shooting in the company’s feud. based in Vermont with a holding company that sells ice cream in the territories.
Last year, Ben & Jerry’s board said it would stop selling ice cream east of annexed Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank, said selling in territories sought by Palestinians was “not in line with our values.” The settlements are considered illegal by the international community and an obstacle to peace.
Consumer goods giant Unileverbought Ben & Jerry’s in 2000, announced earlier this year that it sold its business interests in Israel to a local company that will sell Ben & Jerry’s ice cream under its Hebrew and Arabic names throughout Israel and the West Bank.
The independent Ben & Jerry’s board said in a statement Tuesday that Unilever’s sale was made without the board’s consent and any products sold by Blue & Jerry’s. White Ice Cream Ltd. “not to be confused with products manufactured and distributed by Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Inc.”
“Ben & Jerry’s position is clear: selling products bearing any of the Ben & Jerry’s insignia in the Occupied Palestinian Territories is against our values,” the statement said.
An email sent to London-based Unilever was not immediately returned on Tuesday, but the company has previously said it has the right to sell and noted that the deal is closed.
The 2000 acquisition allows Ben & Jerry’s board of directors to make decisions about the company’s social mission, but it stipulates that Unilever will have the final say on financial and operating decisions.
In August, a federal judge refused Ben & Jerry’s block request a plan by Unilever to allow its products to be sold in east Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank. The judge said Ben & Jerry’s failed to demonstrate that Unilever’s decision would harm Ben and Jerry’s social mission or confuse their customers.
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