Ben & Jerry’s Fight for Justice

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Ben & Jerry’s Fight for Justice

About eight years after Unilever bought Ben & Jerry’s in 2000, Unilever decided to change our ice cream’s recipe. The decision was intended to increase profit margins but reduced the quality of our product. There was another problem. Unilever’s decision violated one of the terms we had reached in the acquisition agreement—namely, that an independent board would have sole authority over such product decisions. In desperation, we flew to London to appeal to Unilever Chairman Paul Polman. During our meeting, we presented him with a miniature statue of a goose. We explained that if Mr. Polman followed the terms of the acquisition agreement, Ben & Jerry’s would continue to thrive and provide many golden eggs for Unilever. If he didn’t respect the terms, the goose would die.

The company reversed its decision, and the goose survived.

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