April 10, 2015
At Ben & Jerry’s, we have conducted business in Israel with our licensee there since 1987. Between our local owner/operator, and visits to the region by our CEO, select Board of Directors members, and a few of our Global Leadership Team members, we are keenly aware of how complex the situation can be.
Ben & Jerry’s corporate organization, based in the U.S., does not retain any profits from the business in Israel. The company remains committed to contributing 100% of the net licensing fee to foster multicultural programs and values-led ingredient sourcing initiatives in the region.
“We are a values-based business and we do our best to make values-based decisions including investing in local farmers in the region,” states Ben & Jerry’s CEO Jostein Solheim whose corporate model is based on creating linked prosperity through commerce and community. “That is the goal for our operations in Israel and around the globe,” added Solheim
We remain committed to our licensee in Israel. We want to continue to be a voice for moderation that builds a sensible approach to multicultural understanding and thriving communities. We have no economic interest in the occupied territories. The manufacturing facility and two scoop shops are located outside the occupied territories, just south of Tel Aviv.
Currently our global business (including our licensee in Israel), supports a variety of programs that include sourcing from local Fair Trade farmers, supporting science educational programs, and various efforts at strengthening cross-cultural understanding. We are now exploring how best to widen these efforts to build sustainable, thriving communities in the region.