Ben & Jerry’s woke co-founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield are taking warmth for freezing when requested why the ice cream company they based stopped selling its merchandise in elements of Israel over political points, but continues to do business in US states the place they disagree with legal guidelines.
In July, the Vermont-based ice cream company introduced that it might cease selling ice cream in “the Occupied Palestinian Territory” as a result of “it is inconsistent with” the company’s values.
But when requested whether or not the company would prolong its boycott apply to different jurisdictions, like US states, the place there are insurance policies that aren’t in line with the beliefs of the company, Cohen and Greenfield — who now not management Ben & Jerry’s but stay its public face — didn’t have an answer.
“You guys are big proponents of voting rights. Why do you still sell ice cream in Georgia? Texas — abortion bans. Why are you still selling there?” Axios’ Alexi McCammond asked the 2 70-year-old entrepreneurs.
McCammond was referring to a sweeping overhaul of Georgia’s voting restrictions that would make it more durable for some residents to cast ballots and sparked backlash amongst a lot of the native business group earlier this year.
With regards to Texas, she was referring to a regulation that took impact earlier this year making practically all abortions in the state unlawful and providing money rewards to individuals who alert the federal government to unlawful abortion practitioners or ladies in search of illegal abortions.
Cohen appeared taken a again earlier than shrugging and letting out, “I don’t know,” with a chuckle.
“It’s an interesting question. I don’t know what that would accomplish. We’re working on those issues, of voting rights. … I think you ask a really good question. And I think I’d have to sit down and think about it for a bit.”
McCammond continued to press the 2 males over the matter of Texas and its lately enacted abortion regulation.
“By that reasoning, we should not sell any ice cream anywhere. I’ve got issues with what’s being done in almost every state and country,” Cohen mentioned.
Greenfield chimed in, including, “One thing that’s different is that what Israel is doing is considered illegal by international law. And so I think that’s a consideration.”
In July, Cohen and Greenfield defended Ben & Jerry’s resolution to cease selling merchandise in some elements of Israel.
“While we no longer have any operational control of the company we founded in 1978, we’re proud of its action and believe it is on the right side of history,” they wrote in a joint op-ed in the New York Times.
The company’s resolution sparked rapid backlash from critics, together with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who referred to as it anti-Israel and threatened Alan Jope, the CEO of Ben & Jerry’s dad or mum company Unilever, with penalties because of the gross sales ban.
Public officers in the US have additionally criticized the transfer, with various states, together with New York, which have adopted so-called anti-boycott legal guidelines threatening to divest their pension funds from Unilever.
Greenfield advised Axios, nevertheless, that these states’ actions are based mostly on “misinformation” that “Ben & Jerry’s and Unilever are being characterized as boycotting Israel — which is not the case at all. It’s not boycotting Israel in any way,” he mentioned.
Unilever, for its half, has sought to distance itself from the controversy, reiterating that Ben & Jerry’s is managed by its personal unbiased board and Unilever can’t overrule its resolution.
Representatives for Ben & Jerry’s and Unilever did not instantly return The Post’s request for remark.