Sweets & Tweets! Ben & Jerry's Utilizes Unused Twitter Characters to Carry Fair Trade Message

FairTweets.com Social Media Campaign Communicates Fair Trade Value to the Masses

BURLINGTON, Vt.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- How can an ice cream maker use social media to help provide farmers a fair income across the globe? Ben & Jerry's, the first ice cream company to use Fair Trade certified ingredients, is taking on the challenge in an innovative manner. The Fair Tweets program is a simple and easy interface for Twitter followers to donate their unused social media space to support Fair Trade messaging.

It's no surprise as Ben & Jerry's was the first composite, major consumer goods product to commit to going through every single item in their ingredient deck to change all they could to Fair Trade. So the natural next step was how to share the values of Fair Trade with a larger audience. The progressive ice cream company has created a program that allows any user of Twitter to easily plug into. Unused characters in each Tweet are utilized to share a message about how Fair Trade benefits farmers across the globe. Cofounder Jerry Greenfield has posed: "Who wants to make a profit by exploiting somebody else?" It is in that spirit that the company is acting to lead the way in showing how the purchase of Fair Trade certified goods makes a difference. The model sets a fair wage for farmers, supports farms with access to credit, encourages community development, and promotes a holistic way of farming for farm laborers, the environment and the land necessary to their trade.

On May 3rd, Ben & Jerry's launched a "Fair Tweets" campaign to rally awareness of Fair Trade. Simply by logging on to Fair Tweets (fairtweets.com), Twitter users have been able to plug in automatic messages about Fair Trade to the tweets they're already sending. These added messages promote the upcoming World Fair Trade Day (May 14) and Fair Trade issues in general.

HOW IT WORKS

Even though Tweets can be up to 140 characters long, most tweets are actually much shorter, using only 40 characters on average. Fair Tweets recycles the "unused" characters in those tweets, and puts them to good use, committing them to Fair Trade awareness.

"Just like putting together good combinations for our flavors, our goal was to combine a popular social media tool with our effort to educate about Fair Trade," said Senior Global Marketing Manager, Noelle Pirnie. "We've heard how easy it has been for our fans to participate and that they better understand how their purchases help make it possible to support these farmers throughout the world," Pirnie added.

So make every Tweet count – just like Fair Trade products purchases - by sharing this message with your Twitter followers. Through the effort, Ben & Jerry's will increase consumer understanding of the value of their own purchase decisions and help farmers across the globe lick some of their daily struggles.

To participate in Fair Tweets, log on to FairTweets.com. To learn more about Ben & Jerry's support of Fair Trade, go to www.benjerry.com.

About Ben & Jerry's

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. Contributions made via the employee-led Ben & Jerry's Foundation in 2010 totaled over $1.8 million. Additionally, the company makes significant product donations to community groups and nonprofits both in Vermont and across the nation. The purpose of Ben & Jerry's philanthropy is to support the founding values of the company: economic and social justice, environmental restoration and peace through understanding, and to support our Vermont communities. For the full scoop on all Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shop locations and fabulous flavors, visit www.benjerry.com.

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