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Unilever signs contract to continue selling Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in Israel

Consumer goods giant Unilever said it has reached a contract to continue selling Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in Israel.

The company announced on Wednesday that it had sold its Israeli branch of the ice cream brand to Avi Zinger for a private amount. AviZinger is already licensed by American Quality Products to sell Ben & Jerry ice cream domestically.

The Unilever move came after Ben & Jerry’s, an independent board of directors, said last summer that it would stop selling in Israeli-occupied territories since the Six-Day War in 1967. Owners and supporters are behind a global campaign known as “BDS” that means boycotts, sales, sanctions and encourages people to avoid buying from companies operating in the area.

Unilever’s sale to Ginger effectively nullifies Ben & Jerry’s independent board decision last summer. American Quality Products said Ben & Jerry’s will continue to be sold nationwide and in occupied territories under Hebrew and Arabic names.

“This is the best dream for me and my employees,” Ginger said on a phone call with CNBC on Wednesday.

Ben & Jerry’s and his chairman, Anuranda Mittal, did not immediately respond to the request for comment. According to internal sources, the board is likely to meet soon to discuss the issue. Mittal was seen behind her initial decision to withdraw from Israel. Bennett Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, Jewish founders of Ben & Jerry’s, defended this decision in a New York Times editorial last summer.

Ben & Jerry’s decision to withdraw from parts of Israel last year was controversial, triggering several states, including Florida, Texas, New Jersey and Colorado, to begin selling shares in Unilever.

Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia Ice Cream Scoop for Free Corn Day 2016.

Source: Ben & Jerry’s

Activist investor Nelson Peltz, who will join Unilever’s board next month, said in a statement, “Trian Partners will keep Ben & Jerry’s in Israel for this new arrangement to secure ice cream. I recommend the Unilever team and Avidinger for what they have reached. ” Keep it available to all consumers. Respect and tolerance are widespread. “

Trian accumulated about 1.5% of its stake last year. Peltz was allowed to meet with Unilever CEO Alan Jope at the end of last year as part of the role of chairman of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in the fight against anti-Semitism and Israeli outlawing.

The Israeli government considers the occupied territories as part of its economy, and all efforts to boycott business in the region are considered to apply to the country. If we stopped selling ice cream in the occupied territories, it would have stopped selling all over Israel.

After learning about Ben & Jerry’s decision last year, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid instructed the US Consulate to urge Unilever to overturn Ben & Jerry’s decision.

“The Ben & Jerry’s factory in Israel is a microcosm of the diversity of Israeli society,” said Rapid, Israel’s next Prime Minister, in a statement. “Today’s victory is for everyone who knows that the fight against BDS is, first and foremost, a fight against partnership and dialogue, and discrimination and hatred.”

American Quality Products employs 170 people directly in Israel, but the dairy, shipping and other companies that support the business have an economic ecosystem of about 2,000 Jews and Arab-Israeli. The company said.

“There was a lot of uncertainty, but now we know we can continue to do business forever,” said Ginger, who has been running the company for 35 years.

Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream will speak on May 20, 2021 in a campaign ending limited immunity in front of the Supreme Court of Washington.

Ken Sedeno | Reuters

Unilever signs contract to continue selling Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in Israel

Source link Unilever signs contract to continue selling Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in Israel

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