Ben and Jerry’s goes 100% Fairtrade

Posted by Josette Dunn on 19th February 2010

Ben and Jerry’s announced in London yesterday (18th February) its commitment to go fully Fairtrade across its entire global flavour portfolio. The company has pledged that by the end of 2013 all of the flavours in all of the countries where Ben & Jerry’s is sold will be converted to Fairtrade CertifiedTM ingredients.

Cadbury Fairtrade

Ben & Jerry’s was the first ice cream company in the world to use Fairtrade CertifiedTM ingredients starting in 2005, and today it’s racing ahead as the first ice cream company to make such a significant commitment to Fairtrade across its global portfolio.

Company co-founder Jerry Greenfield said, “Fairtrade is about making sure people get their fair share of the pie. The whole concept of Fairtrade goes to the heart of our values and sense of right and wrong. Nobody wants to buy something that was made by exploiting somebody else.”

Ben & Jerry’s 100% Fairtrade commitment means that every ingredient that can be sourced Fairtrade CertifiedTM, now or in the future, is Fairtrade CertifiedTM. Globally, this involves converting up to 121 different chunks and swirls, working across eleven different ingredients such as cocoa, banana, vanilla and other flavourings, fruits and nuts. It also means working with Fairtrade cooperatives that total a combined membership of over 27,000 farmers.

Ben & Jerry’s recently arrived in Australia, giving Aussies the opportunity to try the popular ice cream for the first time at a Scoop Shop in Manly and at selected delis in Sydney and Melbourne. All Ben & Jerry’s ice creams sold in Australia will also be fully Fairtrade CertifiedTM by 2013.

Rob Cameron, Chief Executive of Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO) said, “Congratulations to Ben & Jerry’s on the scale and the depth of this commitment to take their whole range Fairtrade. Tackling poverty and sustainable agriculture through trade may not be easy but it is always worth it, and Ben & Jerry’s has demonstrated real leadership in laying out this long-term ambition to engage with smallholders, who grow nuts, bananas, vanilla, cocoa and other Fairtrade CertifiedTM ingredients. Ben & Jerry’s, like all of us in the Fairtrade movement, believe that people can have fun standing up to injustice and campaigning against poverty while enjoying some of Ben & Jerry’s best-selling favorites like Phish Food and Chocolate Fudge Brownie. How cool is that?”

Farmers selling Fairtrade products earn a better income, which allows them to stay on their land. Fairtrade premiums also allow for reinvestment in their farms, their families, their communities and their future. Fairtrade means that certified farmers are using environmentally sound practices to grow and harvest their crops in a sustainable way.

Harriet Lamb, executive director of the Fairtrade Foundation applauds this commitment from Ben & Jerry’s and encourages more mainstream businesses to follow their example, saying “if we’re going to take it to scale and really enable millions of farmers and workers to benefit, then we absolutely also need to engage more mainstream businesses.”

More and more large, well known businesses have adopted Fairtrade in recent years, says Lamb “last year we had companies like Cadbury and Nestle announcing they were going Fairtrade. So the mainstream businesses are beginning to really understand the public concern about Fairtrade.”