Ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s has announced that it will stop selling its products in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).
The company said it was inconsistent with its values to sell ice cream in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, adding that it recognises the concerns shared by its 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,’ the company said in its statement.
— Ben & Jerry's (@benandjerrys) July 19, 2021
The company has informed its licensee of its decision to not renew the agreement when it expires at the end of next year.
Although Ben & Jerry’s will no longer be sold in the OPT, it will stay in Israel through a different arrangement.
Complex And Sensitive Situation
Commenting on the decision, Unilever said that 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,’ the FMCG giant said in its statement.
The company welcomed Ben & Jerry’s decision to continue selling in Israel. It added that it was fully committed to its presence in Israel, where it has invested in people, brands and business for several decades.
In 2000, Unilever acquired Ben & Jerry’s. As part of the agreement, Unilever has recognised the right of the brand and its independent board to make decisions about its social mission.
Last year, the British government was embroiled in an unlikely row with ice cream maker Ben and Jerry's over its approach to migrants arriving by boat from France, after the brand criticised ministers' increasingly bellicose rhetoric.