Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Supports Occupy Wall Street

While watching The Colbert Report last night he did a bit about how Occupy Wall St has a corporate sponsor. I’ve included the clip and the text from the Ben and Jerry’s site. I think this is a good example of the momentum that OWS is getting and how it is building off itself. I also think it’s interesting to think about the role that business can play to support these movements when the point is to critique the business status quo.

We, the Ben & Jerry’s Board of Directors, compelled by our personal convictions and our Company’s mission and values, wish to express our deepest admiration to all of you who have initiated the non-violent Occupy Wall Street Movement and to those around the country who have joined in solidarity. The issues raised are of fundamental importance to all of us. These include:

 

  • The inequity that exists between classes in our country is simply immoral.
  • We are in an unemployment crisis. Almost 14 million people are unemployed. Nearly 20% of African American men are unemployed. Over 25% of our nation’s youth are unemployed.
  • Many workers who have jobs have to work 2 or 3 of them just to scrape by.
  • Higher education is almost impossible to obtain without going deeply in debt.
  • Corporations are permitted to spend unlimited resources to influence elections while stockpiling a trillion dollars rather than hiring people.

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We know the media will either ignore you or frame the issue as to who may be getting pepper sprayed rather than addressing the despair and hardships borne by so many, or accurately conveying what this movement is about. All this goes on while corporate profits continue to soar and millionaires whine about paying a bit more in taxes. And we have not even mentioned the environment.

 

We know that words are relatively easy but we wanted to act quickly to demonstrate our support. As a board and as a company we have actively been involved with these issues for years but your efforts have put them out front in a way we have not been able to do. We have provided support to citizens’ efforts to rein in corporate money in politics, we pay a livable wage to our employees, we directly support family farms and we are working to source fairly traded ingredients for all our products. But 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.

 

 

— Ben & Jerry’s Board of Directors

I’m also curious what would be in a Ben and Jerry’s OWS ice cream flavor and what it would be called.

The Colbert clip is a little long and gets a little absurd. FYI

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  1. Emilia Nini Giordano

    Wow, go Ben and Jerry’s! This is an interesting turn of events. Are there any other corporations out there with a decent track record willing to endorse the cause? Hilarious video, he is a nut.

  2. Samarah

    I am not sure how Ben and Jerry’s having an OWS ice cream is any different than JayZ selling OWS t-shirts.  As far as I can tell from my quick research, the proceeds of the sales of this flavor are not donated to OWS – please let me know if I am wrong. 

     Don’t let the cute cows on the container fool you.  Ben and Jerry is not two men in New England churning ice and cream. Ben and Jerry is owned by Unilever, a Dutch/British corporation which owns over 400 different brands.  If we disapprove of a person profiting off of OWS than should we disapprove even more of a corporation? 


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