Firm mentioned lawsuit was vital to guard ‘the model and social integrity Ben & Jerry’s has spent a long time constructing’.
American ice cream model Ben & Jerry’s has sued its guardian firm Unilever Plc to dam the sale of its Israeli enterprise to an area licensee, saying it was inconsistent with its values to promote its ice cream model within the occupied West Financial institution.
The corporate, identified for its political activism, took the weird step to hunt an injunction on Tuesday after London-based Unilever mentioned final week that it had offered its curiosity within the ice cream to Israeli license-holder Avi Zinger.
Under the new arrangement introduced final week, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream can be out there to all shoppers in Israel and the occupied West Financial institution, together with in Israeli settlements.
The criticism filed within the US District Court docket in Manhattan mentioned the sale introduced on June 29 threatened to undermine the integrity of the Ben & Jerry’s model, which its board retained independence to guard when Unilever acquired the corporate in 2000.
An injunction towards transferring the enterprise and associated logos to Avi Zinger, who runs American High quality Merchandise Ltd, was important to “shield the model and social integrity Ben & Jerry’s has spent a long time constructing,” the criticism mentioned.
Ben & Jerry’s mentioned its board voted 5-2 to sue, with the 2 Unilever appointees dissenting.
In an announcement, Unilever mentioned it doesn’t focus on pending litigation however that it had the best to promote the disputed enterprise and “the deal has already closed”.
Legal professionals for Zinger didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark. Final week, Zinger settled his personal lawsuit towards Ben & Jerry’s for refusing to resume his license.
The dispute highlights challenges going through client manufacturers taking a stand on Israeli settlements within the occupied West Financial institution, that are considered unlawful settlements underneath worldwide legislation and by a lot of the worldwide group.
Final July, Ben & Jerry’s mentioned it might finish gross sales of its model within the occupied West Financial institution and elements of occupied East Jerusalem, and sever its three-decade relationship with Zinger.
Israel condemned the transfer, and a few Jewish teams accused Ben & Jerry’s of anti-Semitism.
Ben & Jerry’s was based in a renovated gasoline station in 1978 by Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield. Now not concerned in Ben & Jerry’s operations, they wrote within the New York Instances final July that they supported Israel however opposed its “unlawful occupation” of the West Financial institution.