Ben & Jerry’s Israel boycott row intensifies

Last week, Ben & Jerry’s, which is owned by Unilever, put out a statement that said the company believes it is inconsistent with its values “for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). We also hear and recognize the concerns shared with us by our fans and trusted partners.

“We have a longstanding partnership with our licensee, who manufactures Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in Israel and distributes it in the region. We have been working to change this, and so we have informed our licensee that we will not renew the license agreement when it expires at the end of next year.

“Although Ben & Jerry’s will no longer be sold in the OPT, we will stay in Israel through a different arrangement. We will share an update on this as soon as we’re ready.”

El Rosado Group, which owns one of the largest supermarket chains in Ecuador with more than 180 stores around the country, has taken the decision to withdraw from all its businesses all ice cream manufactured by Unilever.

In a statement, Unilever said the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a very complex and sensitive situation.

“As a global company, Unilever’s brands are available in more than 190 countries and in all of them, our priority is to serve consumers with essential products that contribute to their health, wellbeing and enjoyment.

“We remain fully committed to our presence in Israel, where we have invested in our people, brands and business for several decades.

“Ben & Jerry’s was acquired by Unilever in 2000. As part of the acquisition agreement, we have always recognised the right of the brand and its independent board to take decisions about its social mission. We also welcome the fact that Ben & Jerry’s will stay in Israel.”





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