Ben & Jerry's Lawsuit Over Israeli Sales Appears To Be Officially Over

A fight that has been going on for a year regarding sales of Ben & Jerry's ice cream in Israel appears to have finally reached a conclusion. The dispute began in 2021 when Vermont-based Ben & Jerry's began its pursuit to cease the sales of its ice cream products in Israel and the Israeli-occupied West Bank. At the time, Ben & Jerry's said it no longer wanted its products to be sold in these territories because what was occurring there went against its principles, describing its presence in the area as "inconsistent with [its] values" (via Associated Press).

In 2000, Unilever acquired Ben & Jerry's, but as part of the deal, the ice cream company could maintain an independent board that would represent the brand and give input in line with its "social mission." In an attempt to stop sales of its ice cream in Palestinian territories, the BBC reports Ben & Jerry's board sought an injunction after Unilever sold its interest to Avi Zinger, who decided to keep selling the ice cream in the West Bank.

Litigation is resolved

On December 15, 2022, Unilever released a statement saying that its "litigation with Ben & Jerry's Independent Board has been resolved." The company did not provide any other details. 

Ben & Jerry's had updated its lawsuit against Unilever in September to seek damages, The Guardian reported. It also wanted to have its trademark returned to its control. In addition, Ben & Jerry's wanted Zinger to be forced by the court to stop selling Ben & Jerry's ice cream in the West Bank. Zinger released a statement Thursday commenting that he was happy that the litigation between Unilever and Ben & Jerry's was completed. "There is no change to the agreement I made with Unilever earlier in the year," Zinger went on to say, adding that he will continue to produce and sell Ben & Jerry's ice cream in Israel and the West Bank.

After hearing the results of its litigation, Ben & Jerry's independent board did not respond to a request for comment from The Guardian.