Ben & Jerry’s and its parent company, Unilever, have announced that talks to resolve their disagreement over the sale of the ice cream maker’s Israeli business have broken down. If the dispute was resolved, Ben & Jerry’s would be able to sell its goods in the occupied West Bank.
A lawyer for Ben & Jerry’s stated in a letter that was sent on Monday to US District Judge Andrew Carter in Manhattan that the two weeks of mediation that were attempted to settle the matter outside of court were unsuccessful.
He requested Carter to reinstate Ben & Jerry’s request for a preliminary injunction to prevent Unilever from selling the Israeli ice cream business to a local licensee named Avi Zinger. Ben & Jerry’s had originally filed the motion.
According to Unilever, the transaction was finalised on June 29 and there is no way to revoke it. In a second letter to Carter, a lawyer for Unilever stated that the business is ready for a hearing on the requested injunction. This information was included in the letter.
According to a story from Reuters from the previous week, the conversations had been unproductive.
A spokesperson for Ben & Jerry’s declined to comment on the matter.
Requests for response were made to Unilever, but they did not immediately answer.
On July 5, Ben & Jerry’s filed a lawsuit against Unilever, the company’s owner since the year 2000. Ben & Jerry’s is situated in Burlington, Vermont.
It was asserted that Unilever had broken its agreement to allow the manufacturer of Half Baked, Cherry Garcia, and Chunky Monkey to protect its brand by selling its business in Israel. This assertion was supported by evidence.
In July of 2021, Ben & Jerry’s announced that they will stop selling ice cream in Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories because they deemed it to be “inconsistent” with the company’s beliefs.
Israel strongly objected to the plan, and some investors responded by selling their Unilever stocks and bonds.
The majority of nations hold the view that Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank are unlawful.
According to a report that was published by Reuters the previous week, the mediation attempt was unsuccessful because Ben & Jerry’s did not want to “compromise” on its social goal.
Ben & Jerry’s has been given the green light by Unilever to determine its own course of action regarding the mission.
This fight will determine how much leeway Unilever will offer its brands in terms of pursuing their own social goals.
Dove soap, Hellmann’s mayonnaise, Knorr soup, and Vaseline skin lotion are just a few of the more than 400 products that are produced by Unilever.