Unilever has reached a new decision surrounding the sale of Ben & Jerry's ice cream in Israel. However, Ben & Jerry's themselves are not happy about it.
Unilever has sold Ben & Jerry's business interests in Israel to Avi Zinger, the owner of American Quality Products Ltd and current Israel-based licensee. The arrangement means that Ben & Jerry's products will be sold under its Hebrew and Arabic names in Israel and the West Bank instead of its English name.
Unilever considers this to be the best outcome for the Israel operations, as they reject discrimination, intolerance and antisemitism and were not planning on renewing the local partner's license when it expired at the end of the year.
"Unilever rejects completely and repudiates unequivocally any form of discrimination or intolerance. Antisemitism has no place in any society. We have never expressed any support for the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement and have no intention of changing that position." Said a Unilever spokesperson.
When Unilever acquired Ben & Jerry's in 2000, an independent board maintained control over decisions about its social mission, but Unilever reserved full financial responsibility. The brand believes in 'Peace, Love & Ice Cream', and released a statement on Twitter condemning its parent company's decision.
"We are aware of the Unilever announcement. While our parent company has taken this decision, we do not agree with it. Unilever's arrangement means Ben & Jerry's in Israel will be owned and operated by AQP. Our company will no longer profit from Ben & Jerry's in Israel. We continue to believe it is inconsistent with Ben & Jerry's values for our ice cream to be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territory."