Jerry Still Loves Ice Cream
Ben & Jerry's story is green history: the two fat kids who started an ice cream business in 1978, learning it by mail order correspondence--a "happily chaotic experience". It was pure and yummy and they donated to good causes and everyone loved them. Then they sold the business to Unilever in 2000 amidst calls that they had sold-out to a multi-national . Jerry (Greenfield) is interviewed by the Guardian and firstly says that his favourite flavour is vanilla toffee crunch.
He says that the sale was difficult for both of them but it was a public company and the shareholders demanded that they do it. As he says " we didn't feel great about it from the start and throughout. It was nothing about Unilever; we didn't want to get bought by anybody." He dismisses the idea that the ice cream is responsible for the obesity epidemic ( "We do not consider a pint or a tub of ice-cream to be a single serving") although he knows that he should cut back himself. As for people mistaking them for Unilever; he says that if you believe in their principles then you should support the company. He still has a healthy cynicism about big business: " The reality is that most companies are not about any values at all - they are about making money. It is extremely rare for a business to stand for anything because most businesses don't want to alienate potential customers, and if you believe in anything you are going to alienate someone." He ends with a quote from Ben which we could heartily endorse: " it's better to stand for something" :: Guardian
More on Ben & Jerry
:: When is a Sell-out a Sell-out
:: Climate Change College
:: Free Ice Cream