Our Journey to Non-GMO, Fairtrade

April 30, 2014

Ben & Jerry’s is proud to stand with the growing consumer movement for transparency and the right to know what’s in our food supply by supporting mandatory GMO labeling legislation. Find out the steps we are taking to transition and label our products and take action here. 

caring dairy picketIn addition to supporting the call for transparency in food labeling, Ben & Jerry’s has also committed to sourcing only Non-GMO ingredients for our products. Our goal is to do so by the end of 2013, but we will still be making this conversion into 2014. It may seem like this is a long way off, so we’d like to give you a peek behind the curtain to see what’s involved in transitioning all of our ingredients.

This information is not a self pat on the back (no matter how awesome we think we are!) We simply want to share this update with you so you know what we’re up to and where we’re making progress to walk our talk. Here goes!

Because we’re Ben & Jerry’s, we’re all about lots of flavors with lots of chunks & swirls—and that means lots of ingredients to transition. While most of our ingredients are already sourced Non-GMO, we decided to take this opportunity to also source any ingredient that can be Fairtrade certified as such. Our goal is for all of our flavors to be Fairtrade certified and sourced with Non-GMO ingredients by the end of the year.

That’s about 80 flavors, 110 ingredients and more than 200 different products to transition this year! There can be almost 40 different ingredients in a single flavor, so you can see how complex this undertaking is.

FairtradeLogo.pngThe first step to transitioning all of our products is to find new, Non-GMO ingredients. In doing so, we will never compromise on quality; it’s our priority to make sure our ice cream tastes as good as it always has. So right now we’re spending time matching ingredients—receiving samples from our suppliers, and tasting and testing them to make sure they meet our standards. After we find Fairtrade and Non-GMO ingredients we love, we will work with our suppliers to make sure they can supply enough to satisfy all of our loyal Ben & Jerry’s fans around the world.

After that comes the complicated part of getting those new ingredients into our ice creams. We won’t bore you with the details, but the point is that we need to plan carefully to make sure that all the Non-GMO, Fairtrade certified ingredients sourced from all around the world arrive at our plants at the right time and end up in the right packaging. And we also have to be careful about transitioning in such a way that minimizes waste; we don’t want to throw away ingredients or packaging.

It’s a monumental task, but we are excited to embark on such a meaningful journey this year—one that makes the world a better place for the people who have a hand in making our euphoric ice cream. And when it’s all done, we’ll raise a cone to good food: the best possible ice cream made in the best possible way.