A tub of Ben and Jerry’s ice product, produced by Unilever Plc.
Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Pictures
Ben & Jerry’s is suing parent organization Unilever to prevent the sale of its Israeli business to a regional licensee, a shift the shopper products and solutions huge stated would retain the ice cream merchandise offered in Israel and its occupied territories.
Ben & Jerry’s claimed in a lawsuit filed in federal courtroom in New York Tuesday that Unilever’s conclusion was designed devoid of the approval of its unbiased board, which has the primary responsibility for safeguarding the integrity of its brand’s name.
A judge on Tuesday denied Ben & Jerry’s application for a short term restraining order but requested Unilever to show result in by July 14 for why a preliminary injunction should not be issued.
In a statement, Unilever mentioned that “the deal has already closed” and that it does not remark on pending litigation. A Ben & Jerry’s representative did not respond to a request for comment.
The accommodate marks the most recent advancement in a controversy that was set off very last calendar year when Ben & Jerry’s stated it would cease sales in the West Bank territory occupied by Israel considering that the 6 Day war in 1967.
Israel’s government sees the occupied territories as aspect of its economy and any initiatives to boycott company in the regions are seen as applying to the state. Stopping income of the ice cream in the occupied territories would have ended product sales through Israel.
In its accommodate, Ben & Jerry’s said that its model is “synonymous with social activism” and that as aspect of its deal to be acquired by Unilever in 2000, it had reserved the “primary accountability for safeguarding the integrity” of the Ben & Jerry’s model as a result of its unbiased board.
It claimed that Unilever had publicly recognized the brand’s proper to make decisions about its social mission. But then last week, Ben & Jerry’s claimed Unilever “abruptly reversed study course.”
Unilever introduced very last week that it sold the Israeli department of its Ben & Jerry’s company to American Top quality Merchandise, which licenses the ice cream products and solutions in Israel. American Top quality said it would keep on selling Ben & Jerry’s less than Hebrew and Arabic names all through Israel and its occupied territories.
Regardless of the appropriate of Ben & Jerry’s unbiased board to make decisions about the brand’s social mission, Unilever mentioned in announcing the sale that it had the ideal to enter into the arrangement mainly because it experienced reserved main responsibility for economic and operational decisions.
Just after Unilever introduced the sale, Ben & Jerry’s mentioned in its lawsuit that its board held a unique meeting on Friday and voted to sue more than the determination.
In an interview with CNBC after last week’s move by Unilever the Israeli licensor, Avi Zinger of American High-quality Goods, said any potential lawsuit would be “among Unilever and Ben & Jerry’s. I by now have a offer.”
— CNBC’s Candice Choi contributed to this report.