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Ben & Jerry’s are as 'woke' as they are hypocrites

Updated: Sep 28, 2022

Ben & Jerry’s embody the term 'Corporate Hypocrisy'.

The ice cream empire is mostly known for their “woke” and very outspoken political stances and opinions, supporting political movements such as “Black Lives Matter”, pro migrants and against child exploitation. The problem starts when you take a closer look at how exactly B&J built their business and how they run it. It is actually the opposite of what they preach and virtue signal about. B&J openly support open borders for migrants because according to them there's no such a thing like an illegal migrant. It turns out that the real reason why B&J love illegal migrants so much is because they are very easy to exploit and make a profit from.

B&J was the target of a campaign by migrant workers on dairy farms which supplied B&J – including illegal immigrants – over poor working conditions. Workers were housed in barns and unheated trailers and reportedly worked 12 to 14 hour days. Basic rights such as real beds (rather than straw piles) and payment of the minimum wage had to be fought for. But wait there's more. When it comes to black lives matters B&J are huge supporters of the BLM movement and have repeatedly and publicly stated that "WE MUST DISMANTLE WHITE SUPREMACY!" However in reality B&J, which is run by two white males (talk about white supremacy...) had no problem abusing black people, even children, as long as they could make a profit out of it, and only stopped when they were exposed.

For years they imported some of their ice cream ingredients, like cocoa, from regions and companies that employed child labor working in slave like conditions. While B&J moved to Fair Trade cocoa in the last few years, after they were called out on using child slave labor. B&J allegedly built its fortune and ice cream empire on the backs of 8 year old children working as modern day African slaves in plantations across the Côte d'Ivoire. According to The Food Empowerment Project (F.E.P.) research which investigated where B&J purchased their cocoa from, they found that the cocoa purchased by B&J came from the Ivory Coast where approximately 1.8 million children in the Ivory Coast and Ghana may be exposed to the worst forms of child labor on cocoa farms.” B&J were founded in 1978, that means that for almost four decades they were knowingly purchasing their supplies from modern day slave plantations in Africa, not caring in the slightest about the human cost their trendy ice creams produced. Apparently according to B&J Black American lives matter, but black African lives, including children, don't.

A young child working in a cocoa plantation in the Ivory Coast.

Now if all of this isn't bad enough, B&J parent company, "Unilever", which bought them in 2001, has also been in the buisness of profiting from child slave labor. Amnesty International in a 2016 report stated that "Unilever" are selling products “containing palm oil tainted by shocking human rights abuses in Indonesia, with children as young as eight working in hazardous conditions.” So B&J probably knew that their own parent company had been in the buisness of exploiting and profiting from child slavery, and yet they chose to do nothing or say nothing. This is highly ironic, not to mention duplicit and hypocritical, considering the fact that B&J recently launched a whole corporate PR campaign whose actual motto is that 'Silence is NOT an option'.


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