Ben & Jerry’s Fortifies Farmer Focus with Fairtrade Effort

Ice Cream Maker Solidifies its Commitment with Fairtrade International’s U.S. Headquarters, Fairtrade International USA

BURLINGTON, Vt - JAN. 15, 2013 - (BUSINESS WIRE) - It’s a new year, and an easy time to make resolutions. That makes it the perfect opportunity for Ben & Jerry’s to publicly reaffirm its ongoing commitment to the Fairtrade program as its primary values led sourcing (VLS) endeavor for 2013. Business practices like VLS efforts, where the purchases of ingredients give back to the global community, are a stalwart trademark of Ben & Jerry’s progressive nature. The ice cream maker continues down the path in its transition to utilize all Fairtrade ingredients that it can with its long-term partner, Fairtrade International (FLO). In 2013, Ben & Jerry’s products in the U.S. will transition to carry the international FAIRTRADE Certification Mark.

“We’re working hard to transition eligible ingredients to be Fairtrade,” said Fairtrade Project Manager Kate Paine at the company headquarters. “Our products have an immense variety of chunks and swirls, making it an extremely complex conversion. But we look forward to the challenge as we aggressively pursue the Fairtrade conversion by the end of 2013,” added Paine.

“Hats off to Ben & Jerry’s deepening commitment to the international Fairtrade system and how fantastic that US consumers will get to enjoy even more Fairtrade certified ice cream,” said Harriet Lamb, Fairtrade International’s CEO. “We believe in the power of the globally-recognized FAIRTRADE Certification Mark and internationally-agreed Fairtrade Standards; and we will work tirelessly with our partners and supporters to achieve our common vision of trade justice for farmers and workers,” said Lamb.

In a nod to the burgeoning and robust Fairtrade movement in the U.S., Ben & Jerry’s and Fairtrade International USA (FIU) will take larger steps together to continue to educate about and highlight the model of Fairtrade. The two organizations will hold a stakeholder summit in the first quarter of 2013; Ben & Jerry’s plans activations around both international and domestic Fairtrade celebrations throughout the year. Ben & Jerry’s will also use their website, social media channels and events to educate fans on the topic of Fairtrade.

“It’s important to know that we’re supporting Fairtrade because it’s a way for us to practice our social justice mission,” said Jostein Solheim, Ben & Jerry’s CEO. “It’s not charity; it is a commitment to practice business in a meaningful way,” added Solheim.

To learn more about the Fairtrade model, or how Ben & Jerry’s operates its business on a three-part mission statement emphasizing product quality, economic reward and a commitment to the community log onto 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 2011 totaled $1.98 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.

* The FDA has said no significant difference has been shown and no test can now distinguish between milk from rBGH treated cows and untreated cows. Not all the suppliers of our other ingredients can promise that the milk they use comes from untreated cows.

About Fairtrade International

Fairtrade International (FLO) is an internationally recognized, non-profit organization that works to secure fairer trade terms so that farmers and workers in developing countries can invest in a better future for themselves and their communities. Fairtrade International is responsible for the strategic direction of the international Fairtrade system, the Fairtrade Standards and producer support. Fairtrade International owns the FAIRTRADE Certification Mark, a registered trademark. Products bearing the global FAIRTRADE Mark have met international Fairtrade Standards. Three regional producer networks and 19 national labeling initiatives are full members in FLO’s governance. www.fairtrade.net. Fairtrade International USA represents the international Fairtrade system in the U.S. www.fairtradeinternational.us

Contact:

Ben & Jerry’s Grand Poobah of PR
Sean Greenwood
802-923-2648
sean.greenwood@benjerry.com

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