Ben & Jerry’s was the first ice cream company to use Fairtrade-certified ingredients. It positions itself as unconventional and quirky, with its fun,flavour names, and it has strong sustainability credentials. The Ben & Jerry’s,story began in 1978, when school friends Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield opened,their first scoop shop in a renovated Vermont gas station. The brand was,acquired by Unilever in 2000. It is available in 33 countries around the globe.
Commitment to quality – for 34 years
Ben & Jerry's is founded on and dedicated to a sustainable corporate concept of linked prosperity. Our mission consists of three interrelated parts: Product Mission, Economic Mission and Social Mission. Central To The Mission Of Ben & Jerry's is the belief that all three parts must thrive equally in a manner that commands deep respect for individuals in and outside the company and supports the communities of which they are a part.
To make, distribute and sell the finest quality all natural ice cream and euphoric concoctions with a continued commitment to incorporating nutritious, natural ingredients and promoting business practices that respect the Earth and the Environment.
To operate the Company on a sustainable financial basis of profitable growth, increasing value for our stakeholders and expanding opportunities for development and career growth for our employees.
To operate the company in a way that actively recognizes the central role that business plays in society by initiating innovative ways to improve the quality of life locally, nationally and internationally.
Leading with progressive values across our business
We have a progressive, nonpartisan social mission that seeks to meet human needs and eliminate injustices in our local, national and international communities by integrating these concerns into our day-to-day business activities. Our focus is on children and families, the environment and sustainable agriculture on family farms.
- Capitalism and the wealth it produces do not create opportunity for everyone equally. We recognize that the gap between the rich and the poor is wider than at any time since the 1920's. We strive to create economic opportunities for those who have been denied them and to advance new models of economic justice that are sustainable and replicable.
- By definition, the manufacturing of products creates waste. We strive to minimize our negative impact on the environment.
- The growing of food is overly reliant on the use of toxic chemicals and other methods that are unsustainable. We support sustainable and safe methods of food production that reduce environmental degradation, maintain the productivity of the land over time, and support the economic viability of family farms and rural communities.
- We seek and support nonviolent ways to achieve peace and justice. We believe government resources are more productively used in meeting human needs than in building and maintaining weapons systems.
- We strive to show a deep respect for human beings inside and outside our company and for the communities in which they live.
Great ideas can come out of junior high gym class
It all began in junior high gym class in Merrick, Long Island. Two boys, running around the athletic field, had found a common bond. Ben Cohen & Jerry Greenfield hated running, but they loved food.
In 1978 they decided to go into business together. With diplomas from a $5 correspondence course & their life savings ($8,000), they converted an old abandoned gas station in Burlington, Vermont, into the original Ben & Jerry's & started making Vermont’s Finest ice cream.
They used only fresh Vermont cream & milk, & the best & biggest chunks of nuts, fruits, candies & cookies. It wasn’t long before the lines for ice cream stretched out the door, & that was only the beginning. You see, Ben & Jerry wanted to run a business that would share its rewards with its employees & with the community.
Ben & Jerry's products are now available across the country, in stores & in our franchised scoop shops. Internationally you will find Ben & Jerry's in much of Europe, Asia as well as Israel, Canada, Mexico and in the Caribbean.
Ben & Jerry's today
Ben & Jerry's, a wholly-owned autonomous subsidiary of Unilever, operates its business on a three-part mission statement emphasizing product quality, economic reward and a commitment to the community. Ben & Jerry's contributes a minimum of $1.1 million annually* through corporate philanthropy that is primarily employee led.
Contributions made via the Ben & Jerry's Foundation in 2011 totaled $1.98 million. Additionally, the company makes significant product donations to community groups and nonprofits both in Vermont and across the nation.
The purpose of Ben & Jerry's philanthropy is to support the founding values of the company: economic and social justice, environmental restoration and peace through understanding, and to support our Vermont communities.
*annual contribution is adjusted upward to allow for sales growth and inflation
Contact Unilever about Ben & Jerry's
If you have any questions or comments about Ben & Jerry's, please visit our contact page.