Ben & Jerry’s Sues Unilever over Palestinian Boycott

July 6, 2022
Ben & Jerry’s is fighting its parent company, Unilever, to keep its ice cream products out of Israeli-occupied territory in the Middle East.

Ben & Jerry’s is fighting its parent company, Unilever, to keep its ice cream products out of Israeli-occupied territory in the Middle East.

The Ben & Jerry’s board filed a federal lawsuit in New York to invalidate the sale of its business in Israel to a local licensee. Unilever announced that sale after Ben & Jerry’s drew criticism over its decision to not sell its brand of ice cream in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). Unilever said it would sell the Israeli business for the Ben & Jerry’s brand to Avi Zinger, a local distributor who had sued over the ban on OPT sales.

Ben & Jerry’s, which has a board independent of Unilever, filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on July 5. The board had voted 5 to 2 on July 2 to defy Unilever, with the two dissensions coming from Unilever representatives on the board.

“An injunction restraining Unilever from violating the express terms of the Merger Agreement and Shareholders Agreement is essential to preserve the status quo and protect the brand and social integrity Ben & Jerry’s has spent decades building,” said an excerpt from the filing quoted in the Wall Street Journal.

Ben & Jerry’s had announced last year that it would no longer sell ice cream in the West Bank and other parts of the OPT. The decision came under fire from advocates for Israel, including some local governments who divested or threatened to divest Unilever from their investment portfolios.

Sponsored Recommendations

Troubleshoot: Grittiness in gluten free cookies

Learn how to adjust gluten free cookie recipes for a softer texture.

Clabber Girl: Rising Success

Uncover how Clabber Girl Corporation achieved a remarkable 7% growth and improved manufacturing efficiency by seamlessly integrating Vicinity's batch manufacturing solution with...

Intelligent Blends: Taking Technology to the Next Level

Find out how our friends at Intelligent Blends use VicinityFood and Microsoft Dynamics GP to produce the best coffee around.

Key ingredient: Mother Murphy's Laboratories

Flavorings manufacturer Mother Murphy’s Laboratories integrates front office with production facility — improving operations from initial order to final invoice.