A tub of Ben and Jerry’s ice product, produced by Unilever Plc.
Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Photographs
Ben & Jerry’s is suing parent firm Unilever to stop the sale of its Israeli business enterprise to a community licensee, a move the buyer products and solutions large reported would continue to keep the ice product items accessible in Israel and its occupied territories.
Ben & Jerry’s claimed in a lawsuit submitted in federal courtroom in New York Tuesday that Unilever’s determination was built without having the acceptance of its unbiased board, which has the principal obligation for safeguarding the integrity of its brand’s title.
A decide on Tuesday denied Ben & Jerry’s application for a short-term restraining purchase but purchased Unilever to display induce by July 14 for why a preliminary injunction ought to not be issued.
In a statement, Unilever mentioned that “the deal has currently closed” and that it does not comment on pending litigation. A Ben & Jerry’s consultant did not react to a request for remark.
The go well with marks the hottest growth in a controversy that was set off past year when Ben & Jerry’s stated it would halt revenue in the West Bank territory occupied by Israel because the Six Working day war in 1967.
Israel’s authorities sees the occupied territories as portion of its overall economy and any attempts to boycott business enterprise in the parts are found as making use of to the place. Halting product sales of the ice product in the occupied territories would have ended profits all through Israel.
In its go well with, Ben & Jerry’s explained that its brand name is “synonymous with social activism” and that as section of its deal to be obtained by Unilever in 2000, it experienced reserved the “major accountability for safeguarding the integrity” of the Ben & Jerry’s brand through its independent board.
It claimed that Unilever had publicly recognized the brand’s ideal to make selections about its social mission. But then past week, Ben & Jerry’s explained Unilever “abruptly reversed course.”
Unilever announced previous 7 days that it marketed the Israeli branch of its Ben & Jerry’s small business to American High quality Solutions, which licenses the ice cream solutions in Israel. American Excellent reported it would continue marketing Ben & Jerry’s beneath Hebrew and Arabic names during Israel and its occupied territories.
Even with the appropriate of Ben & Jerry’s unbiased board to make conclusions about the brand’s social mission, Unilever explained in announcing the sale that it experienced the correct to enter into the arrangement since it experienced reserved main duty for economic and operational conclusions.
Just after Unilever introduced the sale, Ben & Jerry’s explained in its lawsuit that its board held a unique assembly on Friday and voted to sue about the decision.
In an interview with CNBC after last week’s move by Unilever the Israeli licensor, Avi Zinger of American Top quality Goods, said any potential lawsuit would be “amongst Unilever and Ben & Jerry’s. I previously have a offer.”
— CNBC’s Candice Choi contributed to this report.