Unilever CEO ‘fully committed’ to Israel business after Ben & Jerry’s stops selling in occupied territories

Tubs of ice-cream are seen as a laborer works at Ben & Jerry’s factory in Be’er Tuvia, Israel July 20, 2021.

Ronen Zvulun | Reuters

Unilever‘s CEO Alan Jope told traders that the company stays dedicated to its companies in Israel all over a conference name on Thursday, after its subsidiary Ben & Jerry’s launched earlier this week that this is in a position to perhaps well discontinue the sale of its ice cream within the occupied Palestinian territories.

The ice cream maker, identified for its left-leaning political stances, made the transfer after going via backlash online for its alternate within the occupied territories. Unilever’s CEO sought to distance the guardian company from the resolution, asserting it changed into once made independently by Ben & Jerry’s.

“Unilever stays fully dedicated to our alternate in Israel,” Jope acknowledged. “This changed into once a resolution that changed into once taken by Ben & Jerry’s and its just board in accordance with an acquisition agreement that we signed 20 years ago.”

“I’m in a position to be sure you it is miles not any longer our intent to steadily visit issues of this, the put sensitivity has been a lengthy-standing grief for Ben & Jerry’s,” Jope acknowledged.

“We were privy to this resolution by its label – by the logo and its just board, nonetheless certainly [its] no longer our plan that every quarter we will own one pretty as fiery as this one,” Jope acknowledged.

Ben & Jerry’s launched on Monday this is in a position to perhaps well no longer renew its partnership with its licensee, which manufactures and distributes the company’s ice cream in Israel within the blueprint, when the partnership agreement expires at the stop of next 365 days.

Then again, Ben & Jerry’s plans to remain in Israel via one other association that the company has no longer but launched.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has vowed to behave aggressively against Ben & Jerry’s resolution, telling Unilever’s CEO the transfer would own “excessive consequences, fair correct and otherwise.”

In response to Ben & Jerry’s transfer, Republican Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma known as for a block of all Ben & Jerry’s gross sales within the his dwelling articulate in accordance with articulate laws.

Oklahoma passed an anti-boycott of Israel laws in 2020, which recognizes Israel as a prominent buying and selling companion and prevents the articulate from doing alternate with any company that is engaged in a boycott of Israel.

Ben & Jerry’s is not any longer the first company to search out itself tangled in controversy over alternate within the occupied Palestinian territories. In 2018, the rental home Airbnb acknowledged it changed into once banning listings of Israeli property within the West Bank, territory Palestinians claim have to composed be section of their articulate. 

— The Associated Press contributed to this file.