Ben & Jerry's to amend lawsuit against Unilever over ice cream sales in Israel

Ben & Jerry’s to amend lawsuit against Unilever over ice cream sales in Israel

A refrigerator with a Ben & Jerry’s logo in a grocery store in the Jewish settlement of Efrat in the Israeli-occupied West Bank on July 20, 2021. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun//File Photo

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NEW YORK, Sep 6 (Reuters) – Ben & Jerry’s said it plans to amend its lawsuit challenging the sale of its ice cream business in Israel by parent company Unilever Plc. (ULVR.L).

In a letter filed late Tuesday in federal court in Manhattan, Ben & Jerry’s said it plans to file an amended complaint by September 27, with Unilever’s response due by November 1.

Unilever has agreed to the schedule, the letter says. His response to Ben & Jerry’s original complaint was due on Tuesday.

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Ben & Jerry’s filed a lawsuit on July 5, saying the sale of the Israeli business to local licensee Avi Singer violated Unilever’s 2000 agreement to buy the Burlington, Vermont-based company, as it would allow ice cream to be sold in the West Bank.

In July 2021, Ben & Jerry’s decided to end sales in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories, calling it “inconsistent” with the progressive values ​​and social mission it retained the right to promote. The decision sparked backlash at Unilever, including divestment by pension funds of the consumer goods company and accusations of anti-Semitism by some Jewish groups.

On August 22, US District Judge Andrew Carter in Manhattan said that Ben & Jerry’s did not deserve an injunction against the sale of Zinger because the company failed to show that it would suffer irreparable harm. The judge did not decide on the merits of the claim.

Unilever said that Ben & Jerry’s has no right to stop or cancel the sale, which has already been completed.

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Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing Leslie Adler

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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