Global Exchange is a membership-based international human rights organization dedicated to promoting social, economic, and environmentsl justice around the world.

Giving Thanks Part 1: Ben & Jerry’s

15th November, 2010 - Posted by Kirsten Moller - 3 Comments

This is Part 1 in an 8-Part Giving Thanks series, a Global Exchange exclusive highlighting individuals (chosen by Global Exchange staff members) who are contributing to our social justice work in some way. This series will culminate with a “Giving Thanks” video to be launched right here on Wednesday, November 24th. So please join us in recognizing those special individuals who are helping to make this world a better place.

First Up: Global Exchange Executive Director Kirsten Moller thanks Ben & Jerry’s

I want to thank the Ben & Jerry’s company — Ben Cohen, Jerry Greenfield, Jeff Furman and Jostein Solheim in particular, because they have decided to go 100% Fair Trade by 2013.

Jeff Furman with Global Exchanger Shannon Biggs at our 2010 Human Rights Awards.

Having Ben and Jerry’s go Fair Trade represents a quantum leap in terms of volume and impact yet the company is quick to acknowledge the pioneering work of the smaller 100% Fair Trade companies who led the way.

Since the beginning Ben, Jerry and Jeff wanted to create a company that protected the livelihood of small Vermont dairy farmers, that paid a living wage to workers in the ice cream factory, that made a good product, and continued to have fun doing it — taking political risks whenever they could.

Ben & Jerry’s has done so much; Peace Pops and small grants to social justice groups doing grassroots work around the country, ice-cream shops in the former Soviet Union and downtown Detroit.

Even after the corporate take-over, Ben, Jerry and Jeff continued to stand for justice. And now they are working to make the whole supply chain fair — sugar, milk, coffee, vanilla, nuts and chocolate. For their Fair Trade commitment, along with their longstanding support of Global Exchange….

Thank you Ben and Jerry’s!

Who are YOU thankful for? Add your own thank you message in the Comments section to recognize someone you think is doing great social justice work. And if you feel so inspired, Retweet and Share this post to help spread the recognition all of our ‘Thankees’ deserve. Thank YOU.

3 Responses to “Giving Thanks Part 1: Ben & Jerry’s”

  • I am so grateful that you selected Ben and Jerry for this honor. No one deserves it more.

    Many years ago I learned of a guy who had come up with a new way of thinking: if economics was killing the rainforests, and altruism wasn’t strong enough to overcome economics, maybe he could come up with a way to use economics to save the rainforests. He reasoned that some products — like lumber — called for the cutting down of the forests, while other products — like rainforest fruits and nuts — required the preservation of the rainforests.

    So he went on a mission, ‘beating the bushes’ as it were, trying to find customers to buy the sustainable rainforest fruits and nuts.

    He happened upon Ben and Jerry, who immediately appreciated the great thing this guy was doing, and became his FIRST customers, placing huge orders, and making his dream a reality.

    They are true unselfish visionaries in so many ways.

    I join you in celebrating their good work.

    They are good guys.

    • Ray,
      Thanks for sharing those kind words. I’m such a fan of theirs too. Have been for so many years. Before socially responsible business was a term people coined, they were doing it.

      Keep up the great work yourself! And an eye out for other people we’re thanking in this series:)

  • Denisse

    Thanks, Kirsten, for this grateful toast to Ben & Jerry!

    My favorite Ben & Jerry’s moment?

    Delving into federal budget reform by way of the oreo cookie….It went something like this: “What if we placed one, just one, of these cookies from this [huge, 20-25 cookies strong, military budget] pile, and place it on this [a mere 3-5 cookies tall, education budget] pile?”

    see for yourself (cookies enter in at 00:43):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9kXPTwIO08

    thankful for the genius of simplicity,
    Denisse

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