Ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s has lost its legal battle to prevent its products from being sold by its parent company in israeli settlements which he claims would damage his credibility and undermine the company’s social mission.
A federal judge on Monday rejected a request by Ben & Jerry’s to block a plan by its corporate parent, Unilever, to allow its products to be sold in East Jerusalem and the West Bank against the wishes of the beverage maker’s independent board of directors. Vermont ice cream. .
US District Court Judge Andrew Carter said Ben & Jerry’s failed to show that London-based consumer goods conglomerate Unilever’s decision would harm Ben and Jerry’s social mission or mislead its customers.
In his three-page decision, Carter said that Ben & Jerry’s claiming damages was “too speculative.”
BEN & JERRY’S SUES PARENT COMPANY UNILEVER TO STOP THE SALE OF ITS BUSINESS IN ISRAEL
“Products sold in Israel and the west bank will not use English trademarks, but will display the new Ben & Jerry’s trademarks in Hebrew and Arabic,” the decision said. “Therefore, products sold in Israel and the West Bank will be different from other Ben & Jerry’s products, mitigating, if not, the possibility of reputational damage.”
Last year, Ben & Jerry’s independent board said it would stop selling ice cream in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and took issue with East Jerusalem, arguing that doing so would be “inconsistent with our values” because of the company’s opposition to policies of the Israeli government that some have associated with the bds movement.
THE CORPORATE OWNER OF BEN & JERRY WATCHED BY THE ISRAELI GOVERNMENT AND MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
In an interview last year, Ben & Jerry co-founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield struggled to explain why they oppose selling products in Israel because of political disagreements but do business in areas of the United States where they disagree with laws and policies.
“It is an interesting question. I don’t know what that would accomplish. We’re working on those issues, voting rights,” Cohen said when asked why the company sells products in states where it opposes election integrity legislation. “I don’t know. I think you ask a very good question. And I think I should sit down and think about it for a bit.”
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Ben & Jerry’s spokesman Sean Greenwood said Monday that the company “did not have a new position to share at this time.”
Associated Press contributed to this report
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