Ben & Jerry’s advisory council to promote climate mitigation and more to farmers

Michael Bielawski/TNR

POLITICS AND ICE CREAM: When you support Ben & Jerry’s, you also are supporting the company’s activism to promote renewable energy, tackle voter rights and promote economic equality.

The ice-cream giant and ever-political Ben & Jerry’s has developed an advisory council to help farmers mitigate global warming and adopt best-practices such as keeping cows healthy.

“We’ll be practicing ecological agriculture, we’ll be providing great care for animals, ensuring that farm workers can thrive, and enabling them to become net-carbon-sink both through the efficiency of their operations and reducing emissions but also learning how to draw down carbon from the air to the soil,” Dave Rapaport, global social mission officer at Ben & Jerry’s, told True North.

Members of the council include organic farmer and research director of Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture and the Environment Dorn Cox, UVM Extension professor and agronomy specialist Heather Darby, environmental advocate Scott Faber, grass-based livestock production consultant Sarah Flack, president of Mercy for Animals Leah Garces, and chair of the Lake Champlain Committee Gary Kjelleren.

Rapaport said the company has already been working with farmers on techniques like cover-cropping and low-till or no-till practices to mitigate global warming.

“There’s a whole lot more that we need to learn about how to get there, and this council is being formed not to tell us what we should ask farmers to do in a very direct way, but to advise us as we figure out the next phases,” he added.

He also talked about the importance of policies regarding animal care. For example, the company prohibits an old practice called tail-docking, which is cutting off the cow’s tail so that it won’t hit the farmer during milking. Other measures include ensuring that the animal gets proper veterinary care, minimizing the use of antibiotics, and more.

While the council’s ideas are only recommendations, the company has a program called Caring Dairy, which has requirements for farmers who sell to the creamery. He added that ideas from the council could become rules for this program.

The ice cream maker continues to be involved in political activism, even though co-founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield ceased having any authority within the company after Unilever purchased it in 2000.

“Ben & Jerry’s has always been very active in our commitment to social justice and human rights and the environment,” Rapaport said. “We’re guided by a three-part mission; A product mission, an economic mission, and a social mission. They really, together, complement each other and they each are of equal importance in guiding the business.”

The council meetings will be private, but the ideas that emerge will become public.

“We certainly will be very public as we develop our program,” he said. “It’s important to us that this be an independent council and be free to speak their minds.”

Two weeks ago, Ben & Jerry’s social mission activism manager Chris Miller attended a panel discussion on the Green New Deal proposal by U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., a national energy and infrastructure overhaul which is estimated to cost $13 trillion for the nation.

Miller emphasized that the best way to tackle wealth inequality is to promote the ambitious plan.

“The truth is the scale of climate change — the transition changes that are going to be required to get to zero emissions by 2030 — is massive, and it may just be the only way to really radically address the issue of wealth inequality,” he said at the event.

Last year greenamerica.org reported that Ben & Jerry’s joined a larger global effort to fight global warming.

“The Carbon Underground and Green America, in partnership with Ben & Jerry’s [Unilever], DanoneWave, Annie’s [General Mills], and MegaFood have begun development of a global verification standard for food grown in a regenerative manner.” the report states. “The standard seeks to encourage farmers to restore the carbon cycle and build soil health, crop resilience, and nutrient density.”

The parent company Unilever has posted material indicating that they are strongly supportive of the highly controversial carbon tax initiative, which has been tried and failed a handful of times over the years at the Vermont Statehouse.

“To achieve Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan, which seeks to make its operations carbon positive by 2030 – this means the company will be generating more clean energy than it can consume, and will be selling the surplus on the market so as to help others reduce their carbon footprint – Unilever has identified carbon pricing as an effective transition strategy until sufficient external market prices are in place,” an article on carbonpricingleadership.org states.

Critics have pointed out that, ironically, the Ice Cream giant will not have to pay the tax.

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North Reports. Send him news tips at bielawski82@yahoo.com and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

Images courtesy of Bruce Parker/TNR and Michael Bielawski/TNR

7 thoughts on “Ben & Jerry’s advisory council to promote climate mitigation and more to farmers

  1. I live all around examples of B&J’s “Caring Dairies”. Its all smoke and mirrors – and nothing more than an online program. B&J doesn’t inspect for compliance. They don’t have an inspection / visit program, and it’s all based upon the farmers “volunteerism” in the program. Ben and Jerry’s don’t even visit the farms to prove the farmers are doing what they tell B&J “online”. Up here…we had to show B&J WHERE their “Caring Dairies” were.

    This is simply another hype concocted by Unilever to salvage what is left of the ice cream brand. It’s full of glyphosate, it promotes pollution in Vermont, and according to the millennials, it is so full of fat and sugar, none of them eat it. B&J is being held up by the dying Baby Boomers.

    Good luck Unilever, there are Vermonters who see through your “political activism” and see this for what it is, a cow plop.

    • Ben and Jerry are the problem. The made their millions, own their home, and live very comfortable. They want to tell us what to do and how we should live. Just like Sanders, Leahy they are part of the 1% with all the money. They are the last people we should listen to. They got rich using Capitalism. Now they want to impose and dictate how the minions should live with their socialist ideas and beliefs. We live in America, and we are all entitled to the same rights they had when they started their business, and to have our beliefs.
      The Government must stop imposing on our way of life.

  2. And I thought AOCrazio had declared the end of cows, because unlike her, they pass global warming gasses, quite – unlike her own ! maybe Ice cream and jet planesfor Her – because of her important positions and responsibilities.

    Brave New World! Global Warming disaster! And both come from the militant FARTHER LEFT !!

    AND, in the 50’s in grade school we were preached to about the coming ICE AGE – prepare !!

  3. Did the carpetbaggers from NY also tell the farmers the last “global Ocean Temps Report” by
    the gorebullcrap leading country Germany proclaimed a increase since 1948 at (hold on to your
    hat now) 0.05C………………………. Yep folks it’s hardly gone up at all since the 50’s haydays of
    unfettered pollution.. Did they also proclaim that AOCrazio has recanted her 12 year prediction
    as she’s realized she can’t be the BOSS in that short of time…
    I’m a Proud NON customer of the Commie Overpriced Iced Cow juice. I’ll support my farmers by
    buying milk, cheese and beef..

  4. Ben & Jerry two more Socialist that earned their money with Capitalism !!

    Now they have time to spread the ” BS ” since they are 1%’ rs………

  5. Ben & Jerry’s have been under the golden dome in Montpelier fighting for the taxation that comes along with the carbon tax fraud.

    Ben & Jerry’s Corporation stands to benefit from this Taxation and that is why they are so involved in this fraudulent movement.

    The state of Vermont has its own legislators that will gain financially because of their ties to suncommon and they are pushing very hard to promote the fraud of climate change in the state of Vermont.

    This whole deal has nothing to do with climate change it has to do with taxing people to get their hard-earned money and to promote socialism.

    Please before you say you agree or disagree with what I am saying read about Agenda 21…

    We are being made slaves to our government without any input at all.

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