BURLINGTON, Vt. --(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Ben & Jerry's announces its commitment to go fully Fair Trade across its entire global flavor portfolio. From Americone Dream to Chocolate Fudge Brownie, all of the flavors in all of the countries where Ben & Jerry's is sold will be converted to Fair Trade Certified™ ingredients by the end of 2013.
Ben & Jerry's was the first ice cream company in the world to use Fair Trade Certified™ ingredients starting in 2005, and today it's racing ahead as the first ice cream company to make such a significant commitment to Fair Trade across its global portfolio.
Company co-founder Jerry Greenfield said, "Fair Trade is about making sure people get their fair share of the pie. The whole concept of Fair Trade goes to the heart of our values and sense of right and wrong. Nobody wants to buy something that was made by exploiting somebody else."
Ben & Jerry's Fair Trade commitment means that every ingredient that can be sourced Fair Trade Certified™, now or in the future, is Fair Trade Certified™. Globally, this involves converting up to 121 different chunks and swirls, working across eleven different ingredients such as cocoa, banana, vanilla and other flavorings, fruits, and nuts. It also means working with Fair Trade cooperatives that total a combined membership of over 27,000 farmers.
Rob Cameron, Chief Executive of Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO) said, "Congratulations to Ben & Jerry's on the scale and the depth of this commitment to take their whole range Fair Trade. Tackling poverty and sustainable agriculture through trade may not be easy but it is always worth it, and Ben & Jerry's has demonstrated real leadership in laying out this long-term ambition to engage with smallholders, who grow nuts, bananas, vanilla, cocoa and other Fair Trade-certified ingredients. Ben & Jerry's, like all of us in the Fair Trade movement, believe that people can have fun standing up to injustice and campaigning against poverty while enjoying some of Ben & Jerry's best-selling favorites like Phish Food and Chocolate Fudge Brownie, how cool is that."
Paul Rice, President and CEO of TransFair USA, says, "Ben & Jerry's has been a model for socially responsible business for 32 years, proving that being responsible and sustainable are good for business. Their entry into Fair Trade in 2005 builds on that history and has had a real impact on the lives of family farmers around the world. By converting their ingredients to Fair Trade, Ben & Jerry's will help galvanize its suppliers to join the Fair Trade movement. That represents a huge leap forward for Fair Trade in the United States, and it's once again the kind of bold, pioneering move for which the company is known and admired."
Farmers selling Fair Trade products earn a better income, which allows them to stay on their land. Fair Trade premiums also allow for reinvestment in their farms, their families, their communities and their future. Fair Trade means that certified farmers are using environmentally sound practices to grow and harvest their crops in a sustainable way.
Ben & Jerry's produces a wide variety of super-premium ice cream and ice cream novelties, using high-quality ingredients including milk and cream from family farmers who do not treat their cows with the synthetic hormone rBGH. The company states its position on rBGH on its labels. Ben and Jerry's products are distributed nationwide and in selected foreign countries in supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, franchise Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shops, restaurants and other venues. Ben & Jerry's, a Vermont corporation and wholly-owned subsidiary of Unilever, operates its business on a three-part Mission Statement emphasizing product quality, economic reward and a commitment to the community. The goal of the social mission is to integrate a concern for the community into as many day to day business operations as possible while maintaining the product and economic missions. The move to Fair Trade ingredients is driven by that commitment.