November 29, 2022

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Ben & Jerry’s sues parent Unilever to block sale of Israeli business

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NEW YORK, July 5 (Reuters) – Ben & Jerry’s on Tuesday sued its mother or father Unilever Plc (ULVR.L) to block the sale of its Israeli organization to a neighborhood licensee, stating it was inconsistent with its values to sell its ice product in the occupied West Financial institution.

The criticism filed in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan reported the sale declared on June 29 threatened to undermine the integrity of the Ben & Jerry’s model, which Ben & Jerry’s board retained independence to safeguard when Unilever obtained the corporation in 2000.

An injunction in opposition to transferring the small business and linked trademarks to Avi Zinger, who runs American Good quality Solutions Ltd, was necessary to “guard the brand and social integrity Ben & Jerry’s has spent a long time setting up,” the grievance stated.

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Ben & Jerry’s reported its board voted 5-2 to sue, with the two Unilever appointees dissenting.

Unilever, in a statement, said it does not focus on pending litigation, but that it experienced the proper to provide the disputed business enterprise and the transaction experienced previously shut.

“It is a completed offer,” Zinger’s lawyer Alyza Lewin reported in a individual statement. The sale settled Zinger’s personal lawsuit in March in opposition to Ben & Jerry’s for refusing to renew his license.

The dispute highlights difficulties dealing with shopper makes having a stand on Israeli settlements in the occupied West Financial institution.

Most nations take into consideration the settlements unlawful. In April 2019, Airbnb Inc (ABNB.O) reversed a five-month-aged choice to cease listing properties in the settlements.

Previous July, Ben & Jerry’s claimed it would close revenue in the occupied West Lender and parts of East Jerusalem, and sever its a few-decade relationship with Zinger. browse far more

Israel condemned the transfer, and some Jewish groups accused Ben & Jerry’s of anti-Semitism. Some traders, like at minimum seven U.S. states, divested their Unilever holdings. read a lot more

Unilever has more than 400 brand names such as Dove cleaning soap, Hellmann’s mayonnaise, Knorr soup and Vaseline pores and skin lotion.

Ben & Jerry’s was established in a renovated fuel station in 1978 by Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield.

No longer included in Ben & Jerry’s functions, they wrote in the New York Instances very last July that they supported Israel but opposed its “unlawful occupation” of the West Financial institution.

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Reporting by Jonathan Stempel and Jessica DiNapoli in New York Modifying by Invoice Berkrot and Himani Sarkar

Our Criteria: The Thomson Reuters Rely on Rules.

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