Unilever Ben and Jerry’s ice cream tub.
Chris Ratcliff | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Ben & Jerry’s is suing parent company Unilever To stop selling Israeli businesses to local licensees, consumer product giants said they would make ice cream products available in Israel and its occupied territories.
Ben & Jerry’s said in a proceeding filed in federal court in New York on Tuesday that Unilever’s decision was made without the approval of an independent board of directors responsible for protecting the integrity of the brand name.
The judge on Tuesday rejected Ben & Jerry’s’ application for a temporary injunction, but ordered Unilever to give reasons by July 14 as to why a preliminary injunction should not be issued.
Representatives of Unilever and Ben & Jerry’s did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The lawsuit marks the latest developments in the controversy last year when Ben & Jerry’s announced that it would suspend sales in the West Bank occupied by Israel since the 1967 Six-Day War.
The Israeli government considers the occupied territories as part of its economy, and all efforts to boycott business in the region are considered to apply to the country. If we stopped selling ice cream in the occupied territories, it would have stopped selling all over Israel.
Ben & Jerry’s in the proceedings, the brand is “synonymous with social activity” and, as part of the contract acquired by Unilever in 2000, Ben & Jerry’s “main responsibility to protect integrity” He said he had reserved it. Brand through an independent board of directors.
Unilever said it publicly acknowledged the brand’s right to make decisions about its social mission. But last week, Ben & Jerry’s said Unilever “suddenly reversed the course.”
Unilever Announced last week Sold the Israeli branch of Ben & Jerry’s business to American Quality Products, which has a license for ice cream products in Israel. American Quality said Ben & Jerry’s will continue to be sold under Hebrew and Arabic names throughout Israel and its occupied territories.
Despite Ben & Jerry’s independent board having the right to make decisions about the brand’s social mission, Unilever was primarily responsible for its financial and operational decisions in the announcement of the sale. Said that he had the right to conclude.
After Unilever announced the sale, Ben & Jerry’s said in a proceeding that the board had resolved to hold a special meeting on Friday to appeal the decision.
In an interview with CNBC after the move by Unilever last week, Israeli licensor Avi Zinger of American Quality Products said the possible proceedings were “between Unilever and Ben & Jerry’s. I have already signed a deal.” Said.
–CNBC’s Candice Choi contributed to this report.