By Elad Benari(A7) The board of Ben & Jerry’s aims to work out a “new arrangement” for sales in Israel before the end of the year, Unilever’s CEO Alan Jope told Reuters on Thursday.
“Our absolute focus right now is to figure out what the new arrangement will be for Ben & Jerry’s,” Jope said on a conference call with journalists after the company announced earnings.
Jope’s comments come months after Unilever caused an uproar with its controversial July 19 announcement that it will stop selling the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in Judea and Samaria.
Jope’s comments on Thursday’s were the most specific he has given about the actions of the ice cream brand, which is based in the state of Vermont.
The Unilever CEO did not directly criticize Ben & Jerry’s activism, but said, “On subjects where Unilever brands don’t have the expertise or credibility, we think it’s best that they stay out of the debate.”
“Ben & Jerry’s is a great brand – most of the time they get it right – they have a great track record of campaigning on important issues that are relevant to their consumers,” Jope added.
Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, the co-founders of Ben & Jerry’s who sold their company to Unilever years ago, have insisted that the decision by Unilever to stop selling the ice cream in Judea and Samaria is not a boycott of Israel.