Ben & Jerry’s makes ice cream from these regions, company announces

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Ben & Jerry’s recently announced that it will no longer sell its beloved ice cream products in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, citing inconsistencies with its core values.

“We believe it is incompatible with our values ​​that Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” the brand said in a statement. declaration on its website. “We also hear and recognize the concerns shared with us by our fans and trusted partners.”

The decision follows an outcry over the bloody 11 day war in may. At least 230 Palestinians and 12 Israelis were killed, including women and children, according to data compiled by the Associated press. However, the company’s independent board of directors has been pushing to pull its products out of the territories for years, its executive said. NBC News.

Unlike other big food brands, Ben & Jerry’s has a long history of taking public positions on social justice issues. Under the values ​​section of its website, the company declares:

We can use traditional and contemporary business tools to drive progressive systemic social change by advancing the strategies of broader movements that address these issues, such as climate justice and social equity.

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At the same time, parent company Unilever has expressed its commitment to its presence in Israel.

“We remain fully committed to our presence in Israel, where we have been investing in our people, brands and businesses for several decades,” parent company Unilever said in a separate statement. declaration. “We have always recognized the right of the brand and its independent board of directors to make decisions regarding its social mission. We also welcome the fact that Ben & Jerry’s will remain in Israel.

EMMANUEL DUNAND / AFP / Getty Images

According to NBC News, the independent board of directors of Ben & Jerry’s was created “so that a progressive company can ensure its independence and protect its values ​​when acquired by a large company”. However, Anuradha Mittal, the chair of the independent board, told the media outlet that Unilever’s statement was released without her approval.

“The statement released by Ben & Jerry’s regarding its operations in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) does not reflect the position of the independent board of directors and has not been approved by the independent board of directors,” said said the board of directors in its own press release. “By taking a stand and issuing a statement without the approval of the independent board of directors on an issue directly related to the social mission and integrity of the Ben & Jerry’s brand, Unilever and its CEO at Ben & Jerry’s are violating the ‘spirit and letter of the acquisition contract. “

To block sales, Ben & Jerry’s said they have “informed our licensee that we will not be renewing the license agreement when it expires at the end of next year.” Any decision to proceed with sales in Israel “through a different arrangement” would be subject to board approval, Mittal said NBC News.

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