Ben & Jerry’s is the first corporate that is backing the Occupy Wall Street movement, as the company announced today on its website.
Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream company, known for standing up for liberal issues, slammed the “immoral” inequality between classes in the U.S.
Ben & Jerry’s announcement followed the House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, who said she is backing the movement as the political debate around the protests intensified.
The Vermont-based ice-cream company said it has the “deepest admiration” for protesters because of the U.S. unemployment crisis and rising cost of higher education.
Ben & Jerry’s, which is part of the Unilever conglomerate, is also well-known as an outspoken anti-capitalist company.
“We know that words are relatively easy but we wanted to act quickly to demonstrate our support,” the company said in a statement on its website.
“We realize that Occupy Wall Street is calling for systemic change.
“We support this call to action and are honored to join you in this call to take back our nation and democracy,” said Ben & Jerry’s board of directors in a statement.
The Ben & Jerry’s mission statement on the Unilever website said:
“We seek and support nonviolent ways to achieve peace and justice.”
“We believe government resources are more productively used in meeting human needs than in building and maintaining weapons systems.”
The Ben & Jerry’s company was founded in 1978 and launched a “Hubby Hubby” ice-cream in support of same-sex marriage in 2009.
Ben & Jerry’s also launched a “Yes Pecan” flavor to celebrate Barack Obama’s becoming U.S. president.
The Vermont-based company often holds free ice-cream giveaways – so Occupy Wall Street protesters will be hoping that will be the case again here.
Ben Greenfield and Jerry Cohen were the unlikely pair who used a $5 course in ice-cream making to become one of America’s most iconic success stories in recent decades.
The two men set up a business with $12,000 in 1978, and it turned into one of the most well-known ice-cream firms worldwide.
Ben & Jerry’s company tries to promote “linked prosperity”, so it is big on ethical business practices, sustainable growth and being socially responsible.
The ice-cream company became a multimillion-dollar publicly traded one before being bought by conglomerate Unilever for $326 million in 2000.
Ben Greenfield and Jerry Cohen kept away from the running of the company, but they often help out at openings of new stores.
But Greenfield and Cohen were disillusioned that Unilever had not vigorously pursued the mission of corporate social responsibility it accepted with the purchase.
However, they have maintained their political affiliation despite the sell-out, and Unilever has brought out its own liberal flavors over the last two years.