Months after the controversy surrounding Ben & Jerry’s unfolded, on Thursday, the ice cream maker commented that it will work out a “new arrangement” to sell its products in Israel. This is the first time the company has reconsidered its decision of pulling out of West Bank settlements.
Parent company Unilever’s CEO Alan Jope has said that the board of Ben & Jerry’s plans to work out the new structure for selling ice cream in Israel before the end of the year, though he did not specify what the plans might entail.
“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. Without mentioning names, Jope took a swipe at the ice cream makers, saying “On subjects where Unilever brands don’t have the expertise or credibility, we think it’s best that they stay out of the debate.”
In reality, ever since Unilever took the decision of suspending sales in many Israeli settlements, the company was met with fierce bipartisan backlash, and some U.S. pension funds divested from Unilever. Since that decision was made, Unilever has lost a startling $26 billion.