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Ben & Jerry’s Ends Its Dispute With Unilever Over Ice Cream Brand Sales In Israel

Ben & Jerry’s Ends Its Dispute With Unilever Over Ice Cream Brand Sales In Israel

Both sides are keeping mum about what if any agreement was made, but the Israeli manufacturer continues to sell Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in Judea and Samaria.

Unilever has resolved its dispute with its Ben & Jerry’s subsidiary.

To recap briefly, last July, Ben & Jerry’s “brand integrity” board sued Unilever, allegedly to stop Unilever from selling the ice cream maker’s business in Israel to its long-term Israeli licensee/manufacturer/distributer, Avi Zinger and his company, American Quality Products Limited (AQP). Zinger had filed a lawsuit against Unilever and Ben & Jerry’s after the ice cream maker refused to renew Zinger’s contract to sell ice cream in Israel, including in Judea and Samaria.

Ben & Jerry’s didn’t raise the issue in the same lawsuit Zinger brought, or even sue in the same court. The court in which Ben & Jerry’s did file suit (Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York) would have been hard-pressed to stop the settlement Unilever had already consummated with Zinger. After it became clear Unilever had already finalized the deal with Zinger, Ben & Jerry’s didn’t drop its suit. Unilever filed a motion to dismiss the case on December 2, on which the court has not yet ruled.

So what was Ben & Jerry’s really trying to accomplish? Was this just performance art? Ben & Jerry’s dusting off its halo as a socially conscious business, figuratively washing its hands of the Zinger settlement? Tragically, to these two Jewish boys from New York, being socially conscious equates to opposing Israel and taking a public stance supposedly supporting West Bank Arabs (but meanwhile depriving them of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream).

Or, maybe Ben and Jerry regretted their decision to sell their company to Unilever. Perhaps they thought that if they made themselves enough of a nuisance to Unilever, the latter would cave and either let the Ben & Jerry’s company buy itself independent again, or let the subsidiary dictate policies to the parent corporation.

Whatever they intended to accomplish, it’s unclear what if anything they did accomplish. Unilever is keeping mum. It’s public announcement says tersely:

Unilever is pleased to announce that the litigation with Ben & Jerry’s Independent Board has been resolved.

That’s it. As for Ben & Jerry’s, it hasn’t said anything at all.

Zinger, the Israeli manufacturer, announced that he was pleased about the resolution, and it doesn’t affect his deal with Unilever.

Readers can find LIF’s previous coverage of the controversy here:

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Comments

A very expensive and futile virtue-less signal it would seem.

If they had listened to their lawyers instead of acting on their hatred they could have saved a lot of money.

Two idiots, really ridiculous idiots, just evil

I refuse to eat their ice cream

To win was gonna cost them money. They figured that out.

“Ben & Jerry’s dusting off its halo as a socially conscious business, figuratively washing its hands of the Zinger settlement…”
“Zinger’s contract to sell ice cream in Israel, including in Judea and Samaria…”
Can anything good come out of Nazareth South Burlington?

    diver64 in reply to henrybowman. | December 16, 2022 at 5:04 am

    Vermont Teddy Bears? Magic Hat Brewing? I met Ben when he gave a talk at our State College in VT and he was a pretty nice guy outside of his politics much like Bernie Sanders. Met Sanders a few times at Veterans funerals in my home state. Nice enough guy it should be noted that none of these guys are Vermonters, they are carpetbaggers from NY and that is why VT degenerated into what it is today from what it was when I was growing up there

      I second diver64. Having lived in Jericho from ’78 to ’00 I saw the state’s decline from outside influences first hand culminating in the most recent disaster in Randolph caused by state law allowing males in female facilities. I often wonder where the native Vermonters went.

        diver64 in reply to kjon. | December 16, 2022 at 5:36 pm

        NC where my wife and I moved after our families being in the state for more than 200yrs. My aunt had a house in Jericho and it was a nice, little town. Even caught a few trout in the river that ran through there way back then. I still have a camp in the woods of NEK and we visit every summer. We just shake our heads at what has become of the state we grew up in.

my folks had a place in stowe for nearly fifty years–was there several times to experience the seasons in new england–went over to middlebuty(?) a few times to b&j’s little factory to see/taste their operations–can’t remember which one of them we met/talked with but, along with most of their staff, seemed nice enough but definitely some serious stoners

for quite a while they were dedicated to making the best ice cream on the planet–and they did–somewhere along the way, they strayed from their core mission and got off in the tall weeds–why they couldn’t just stick to making an excellent product and leave the politics out is a mystery to me but their anti-israel antics go to be too much

besides, there are other great brands out there

vermont is still beautiful–the hush of the mountains and the woods up there is wonderful–always think of ethan allen and his boys fighting / dying up there in that environment–hellacious balls to take on/defeat the brits up there–humbling indeed

    I toured the plant in Waterbury several times. Very interesting and the free ice cream at the end was a treat. Wore one of the tye dies all over the world and got recognized in several odd places. Still think the B&Js is the best on the planet but won’t buy it anymore.
    BTW: one of my direct ancestors fought with Ethan after Bennington and is buried in NY behind a truck stop off I87 of all places. His grave still gets a flag every Veterans Day with a Revolutionary War Stake.

These two will not be silenced until they go the way of Harry and David.

BJ ice cream is nasty ice cream! Over sweet and full of crystals from ice forming. Over priced and very little ‘cream’ in the nasty stuff.

Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream is selling in East Jerusalem at 2 for 38 shekels. Good Price.