Texas looking into divestment from Unilever over Ben & Jerry’s boycott

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The Jerusalem Post 22 July, 2021 - 11:39am 15 views

Who owns Ben and Jerry's?

Ben & Jerry's, a wholly-owned autonomous subsidiary of Unilever, operates its business on a three-part mission statement emphasizing product quality, economic reward and a commitment to the community. unileverusa.comBen & Jerry's | Brands

By Jorge Fitz-Gibbon

July 21, 2021 | 6:20pm | Updated July 21, 2021 | 6:20pm

Ben & Jerry’s boycott of “Occupied Palestinian Territories” represents “a new form of terrorism,” Israeli President Isaac Herzog said Wednesday.

“The boycott of Israel is a new sort of terrorism, economic terrorism,” the newly installed president said, according to a report in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

“Terrorism tries to harm the citizens of Israel and the economy of Israel,” Herzog said. “We must oppose this boycott and terrorism in any form… It takes aim at the Israeli economy.”

The comments come one day after Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett warned the US company’s British owners, Unilever, that the ice cream maker’s boycott “is an action that has severe consequences” and said Israel could “take strong action.”

Bennett said those actions could include legal challenges against the company.

Vermont-based Ben & Jerry’s announced Monday it would freeze sales of the popular ice cream in “the Occupied Palestinian Territory” — the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.

The company said the move comes amid pushback from customers and a decision that selling their product in those areas, typically described as regions occupied by Israel since 1967, “is inconsistent with our values.”

Ben & Jerry’s said it would continue to sell ice cream in the rest of Israel.

But Bennett, in his comments Wednesday, called the decision “morally wrong.”

“There are many brands of ice cream,” he said. “But we only have one country.”

Unilever said in a statement this week that its purchase of Ben & Jerry’s in 2000 included an understanding that it would be allowed to run its own affairs.

In an email Wednesday, officials at Ben & Jerry’s declined to comment beyond its original statement regarding the boycott and the company’s values.

Read full article at The Jerusalem Post

Unilever CEO says fully committed to Israel amid Ben & Jerry's row

Reuters 22 July, 2021 - 05:33am

"I think if there's one message I want to underscore ...it's that Unilever remains fully committed to our business in Israel," CEO Alan Jope told investors during an earnings call.

He added the group had made substantial investments in the country over the past decade and was invested in its startup culture and social programs.

"This was a decision taken by Ben & Jerry's and its independent board. .....and we always recognize the importance of that agreement."

Ben & Jerry’s is known for its commitment to social justice and was acquired by Unilever in 2000 in a deal that allows it to operate with more autonomy than other subsidiaries.

On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett warned Unilever of “severe consequences” from Ben & Jerry’s decision, calling it an anti-Israel step.

The decision has also led to a clash between Unilever and Ben & Jerry's independent board.

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