Ben & Jerry’s has conducted business in Israel with a licensee partner since 1987. Between our local owner/operator and visits to the region by our CEO, selected Board of Directors members, and a few members of our Global Leadership Team, we are keenly aware of how complex the local market can be.
Our team witnessed how the normal business networks, such as grocery store chains, exist in both countries and how packaged goods are distributed throughout those networks. Ben & Jerry’s sees its role in the Middle East as a company that remains committed to contributing resources to foster multicultural programs and values-led ingredient sourcing initiatives in the region. The first phase of sustainably sourcing almonds from a Palestinian farmer cooperative has been realized, investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in the operation and growing its market base. “As a mission-led organization, we make values-based business decisions throughout our global business,” said Ben & Jerry’s Director of Social Impact, Rob Michalak. “Our linked-prosperity model offers a way to create benefits for these communities such as investing in local farmers and the manufacturer in the region,” added Michalak.
Ben & Jerry’s remains committed to its licensee in Israel while continuing to be a voice for positive change and a sensible approach to multicultural understanding and thriving communities. The manufacturing facility and two scoop shops are located outside the occupied territories, just south of Tel Aviv. The business supports the local Fairtrade farmers, educational science programs, and various efforts at strengthening cross-cultural understanding. We continue to build on this approach to support sustainable, thriving communities in the region.