After the ongoing Ben & Jerry’s controversy made its rounds, on Thursday, Unilever Chief Alan Jope said the global consumer goods giant remains “fully committed” to doing business in Israel.
Keeping himself away from Ben & Jerrys’ announcement of no longer serving in Occupied Palestinian Territories, Jope, in a conference call with investors said that Ben & Jerry’s, which has a long history of social activism, had made the decision on its own.
“Obviously it’s a complex and sensitive matter that elicits very strong feelings,” he said. “If there is one message I want to underscore in this call, it’s that Unilever remains fully committed to our business in Israel.”
He claimed that under its purchase agreement with Ben & Jerry’s in 2000, the company maintained broad independence over its social justice policies and that Unilever respected that arrangement.
Jope added, “it is not our intent” to regularly delve into such sensitive matters. “It’s been a longstanding issue for Ben & Jerry’s,” he said. “We were aware of this decision by the brand and its independent board, but it’s certainly not our intention that every quarter will have one quite as fiery as this one.”