Ben & Jerrys sued Unilever today (Tuesday) to stop the sale of the Israeli brand to local licensee Avi Singer, claiming it was inconsistent with its values of selling its ice cream in Judea and Samaria which they called the "Occupied West Bank", it was reported tonight In the Reuters news agency.
A lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan states that "the decision issued last week threatens to undermine the integrity of the Ben & Jerrys brand, which Ben & Jerry's Board of Directors maintained and defended even when Unilever acquired the company in 2000. ".
The restraining order against the transfer of the business and the accompanying trademarks to Avi Singer, the Israeli franchisee, was essential to "protect the brand and the social integrity that Ben & Jerrys devoted decades to building," the lawsuit said.
Ben & Jerrys said the company's board voted by a five-to-two majority in favor of the lawsuit, with the two Unilever executives opposing it.
Unilever did not respond, but defended the company's right to promote its social statement.
Singer's lawyers also did not respond.
Last week, Unilever, the parent company of ice cream maker Ben & Jerry's, recalled that the brand's Israeli franchisee would be able to continue selling unlimited ice cream in Judea and Samaria as well.
The settlement, which is indefinite, ends the dispute between the parties.
Avi Singer CEO of Ben & Jerry's in Israel, Photo: Arik Sultan
Despite the partial achievement, under the arrangement the Israeli manufacturer will no longer be a global franchisee of Ben & Jerry's, but an independent company owned by Avi Singer with permission to use the ice cream brand and its recipes.
This means that at least officially Ben & Jerry's Global will not sell in Israel and continue the boycott.
In addition, the agreement stipulates that the Israeli manufacturer will be able to write the brand name Ben & Jerrys in Hebrew letters only and not in English.
That is, it was only a partial but partial victory, because Unilever Global and Ben and Jerrys are in fact continuing the boycott.
The company reacted with disappointment and wrote on their Twitter account: "We are aware of the new arrangement reached by the global Unilever company. We still believe it is wrong to sell our ice cream in the Occupied Palestinian Territories."
A few months ago, Ben & Jerry's announced that it had decided to ban its Israeli franchisee, Avi Singer, from marketing its products in Judea and Samaria.
Singer objected to the decision and as a result the company decided not to renew the contract with him at the end of the current contract.
Following this, a consumer boycott of Ben & Jerry's began, and various states in the United States, which have laws against the boycott of Israel, announced that they would withdraw their pension fund investments from Unilever.
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