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Over the weekend, author Daniel Friedman began looking at the financial numbers and the anti-Israel stance taken by the wokest of woke social justice heroes at Ben & Jerry’s who announced July 19 that the company’s ice cream would stop being sold inside what they have determined to be the “Occupied Palestinian Territory.”
What Friedman found was yet another ‘Get Woke, Go Broke’ decision made by corporate boards who are allowing brands to run wild with social justice campaigns that continue to escalate to new levels as the battle for being the wokest continues to rage on.
The company’s decision to stop selling ice cream in those territories that include Jewish settlements is the latest woke moment for a hippie ice cream company that was built on left-wing activism. Ben and Jerry’s has supported Bernie Sanders, they’ve been active in Save The Climate campaigns, celebrated same-sex marriage court victories, fought against Donald Trump with a “Pecan Resist” ice cream, and the ice cream company is a big supporter of Cuba-loving Black Lives Matter.
People buy Ben and Jerry’s because they like the ice cream, not the politics, which are a liability.
— Daniel Friedman (@DanFriedman81) July 26, 2021
While those woke campaigns look great when pumped out by the blue checkmark brigade, pushing the Ben & Jerry’s political agenda into Israel has had real financial ramifications.
The anti-Israel decision made July 19, Friedman notes, resulted in an independent board of Ben & Jerry’s knocking $6.4 billion off the market cap of Unilever, the parent company of the ice cream maker. “It is clearly time for Unilever to get rid of Ben and Jerry’s independent board and put an end to the company’s divisive ‘social mission,’ which just cost 20 times the enterprise value of the business,” Friedman wrote on Twitter.
Size by market cap:
Johnson & Johnson: $450B
Procter & Gamble: $336B
Mondelez International: $90B
Kraft Heinz: $47B
General Mills: $36B
— George Maroudas (@ChicagoAdvisor) July 23, 2021
“People buy Ben & Jerry’s because they like the ice cream, not the politics, which are a liability,” he added.
It’s not just in Israel where Ben & Jerry’s is running into serious consequences for its ice cream decision. States are now starting to get involved in this showdown. Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a statement last week stating that the company should reverse its decision. According to CNBC, “Abbott signed a bill into law four years ago that would force Texas pension funds to divest from any company boycotting Israel.”
Now Texas is talking about possibly ending its investments in Ben & Jerry’s and Unilever. Texas isn’t alone in this pension situation with Unilever. New York and Florida are also looking into what the company’s decision means for investments. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has placed Unilver on a “scrutinized” list of companies and could ultimately result in the state refraining from “acquiring any and all Unilever assets,” DeSantis said last week.
As for Ben & Jerry’s board chair Anuradha Mittal, she’s not backing down from any of this, even with the losses mounting and pension boards threats.
"The vile hate that has been thrown at me does not intimidate me. Pls work for peace – not hatred!" https://t.co/ySzioevIr6
— Anuradha Mittal (@Mittaloak) July 27, 2021