A bath of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, manufactured by Unilever Plc.
Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Ben & Jerry’s is suing parent company Unilever to cease the sale of its Israeli business to an area licensee, a transfer the buyer merchandise large stated would hold the ice cream merchandise obtainable in Israel and its occupied territories.
Ben & Jerry’s stated in a lawsuit filed in federal courtroom in New York Tuesday that Unilever’s choice was made with out the approval of its unbiased board, which has the first accountability for safeguarding the integrity of its model’s identify.
A decide on Tuesday denied Ben & Jerry’s utility for a brief restraining order however ordered Unilever to indicate trigger by July 14 for why a preliminary injunction shouldn’t be issued.
Representatives for Unilever and Ben & Jerry’s didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.
The swimsuit marks the most recent improvement in an issue that was set off final yr when Ben & Jerry’s stated it might cease gross sales within the West Bank territory occupied by Israel because the Six Day battle in 1967.
Israel’s authorities sees the occupied territories as half of its financial system and any efforts to boycott business within the areas are seen as making use of to the nation. Stopping gross sales of the ice cream within the occupied territories would have ended gross sales all through Israel.
In its swimsuit, Ben & Jerry’s stated that its model is “synonymous with social activism” and that as half of its deal to be acquired by Unilever in 2000, it had reserved the “primary responsibility for safeguarding the integrity” of the Ben & Jerry’s model by means of its unbiased board.
It stated that Unilever had publicly acknowledged the model’s proper to make choices about its social mission. But then final week, Ben & Jerry’s stated Unilever “abruptly reversed course.”
Unilever announced last week that it offered the Israeli department of its Ben & Jerry’s business to American Quality Products, which licenses the ice cream merchandise in Israel. American Quality stated it might proceed promoting Ben & Jerry’s beneath Hebrew and Arabic names all through Israel and its occupied territories.
Despite the proper of Ben & Jerry’s unbiased board to make choices in regards to the model’s social mission, Unilever stated in asserting the sale that it had the proper to enter into the settlement as a result of it had reserved major accountability for monetary and operational choices.
After Unilever introduced the sale, Ben & Jerry’s stated in its lawsuit that its board held a particular assembly on Friday and voted to sue over the choice.
In an interview with CNBC after final week’s transfer by Unilever the Israeli licensor, Avi Zinger of American Quality Products, stated any potential lawsuit can be “between Unilever and Ben & Jerry’s. I already have a deal.”
— CNBC’s Candice Choi contributed to this report.