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November 16, 2022 4:48 pm
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Ben & Jerry’s Board Denounces Ice Cream Sold Under Ben & Jerry’s Name in ‘Occupied Territories’

avatar by Andrew Bernard

Tubs of ice-cream are seen as a labourer works at Ben & Jerry’s factory in Be’er Tuvia, Israel July 20, 2021. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

The independent board of Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Inc. on Tuesday disavowed any link with products sold under the Ben & Jerry’s name by the company’s Israeli distributor, Blue & White Ice Cream Ltd. 

“Any products sold by Blue & White Ice Cream Ltd. are uniquely its own and should not be confused with products produced and distributed by Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Inc.” the statement said. “Ben & Jerry’s position is clear: the sale of products bearing any Ben & Jerry’s insignia in the Occupied Palestinian Territory is against our values. Such sales are inconsistent with international law, fundamental human rights, and Ben & Jerry’s social mission.”

In 2021, Ben & Jerry’s announced its intention to halt sales in the West Bank because they claimed such sales were inconsistent with the company’s values. As a result of that decision, Ben & Jerry’s parent company, Unilever, sold its business interests in Ben & Jerry’s in Israel to Blue & White in June 2022, prompting an unusual court battle in which Ben & Jerry’s sued its parent company to halt the deal. A federal court rejected that bid in August, but Ben & Jerry’s in September said that they intend to pursue an amended suit.

Despite the Ben & Jerry’s board’s claim that their product in Israel was now “uniquely” the responsibility of Blue & White, Unilever on Tuesday assured ice cream eaters in Israel and the West Bank that they need not fear any change in quality. “The ownership of the brand is different, but the Ben & Jerry’s product is no different to what’s been enjoyed in Israel for many years,” the company said in a statement.

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