BEN, Jerry, Vermont discussed on Thrillist's Best
Police iron. Cruising in my apartment right now, but you know why is always been so important to the company and for people who don't know? Has it been something that has always been important since the company was founded in the late seventy S. When Ben and Jerry should've started the company and a few years later certain. Institutionalized this approach to doing business in our tree, hard mission statement. It was pretty radical in at that time, so he's always been a part of who we are. We've done it sometimes. Better than other times over the Ark of the forty two year history of the company. But the other thing I want to say. You don't have to have a forty two year history to be able to do this now. This is an important moment, and and if all we do collectively as a society as corporations, the business community is what we've all been doing for the last forty two years. Things will never change right, and so what? What is unique? What is unique? But what is notable about what we're seeing? In the US. Frankly around the world over the past couple of weeks. Is. Something that is. Struck a chord in a much wider. Segment of the population. But. It's not it it. You know certainly there there were. A folks in Ferguson, other than black lives matter activists several years ago, but but what we're seeing now is. You know. White people stepping up in a way that they haven't in the past At at these rallies at these protests, you're seeing them not just in La or Minneapolis earn Newark. You're seeing them in Burlington. Vermont in Canton New York. You're seeing an unusual rural communities in so I think that's an incredibly. Important. Shine, I think and and I think. You know it. Ultimately, a statement is just a statement it it. Let's not overstate the importance of the state, and that ultimately what will drive change are the people on the front lines of people that are in the streets, and and you know. What we're seeing here I think. Gives me. Hope that there's an opportunity here. Right and you know to that point in my mind. Personally I do like seeing companies that I love Ben and Jerry's being a prime example of that sharing my own values, sharing my worldview and supporting causes that I believe in that I. Think are personally rate I, but I do see in. This is excluding you because you guys have such a tradition of doing this. But what would you say to the people that might be like you know why ice cream company talking about this? Why are they joining the conversation? Why is it important that they make their voice heard when. They're here. This is what some people think obviously just to give us a product you know. What would you say to those people? I would say why not an ice cream company. I mean you know all right between companies? Just a collective people who you know like you know. Most people we care about things in the world, and we're multifaceted and different interest passionate about ice cream. We you know are passionate about issues around economic and social justice, so I think you know we look for better or for worse. Corporations are the most powerful entity within society. Right there. There is a A. A? Massive lack of leadership on these issues that's coming from the current administration in Congress. Who seems fairly incapable of dealing with even just the? Kind of ongoing day to day issues in our society wrestles with and corporations have massive influence over the public policy process and our elected political leaders because of the massive unregulated amount of money. That filters uncle medical system. Most corporations use that influence that they have. You know more often than not in service of their ereck. short-term financial interest right so companies care about things like labor law, and how tax policy and trade policy right, and they they they typically don't weigh in on issues that art in their own direction, narrow self interest, but what what we know. At Ben and Jerry's and I think there are a number of other companies that are that are. Are Good at this and we're. Becoming more common. Lush cosmetics Patagonia You know our sister company based in Burlington Vermont. That was acquired by Unilever a couple years ago seven generation. I mean what is what's selling baby diapers and so have to do with. Issues around climate justice, but they've been been. You know really leaning in on that issue over the last couple of years at seven generation, so I think why not an ice cream company and I think there is a. You know. You Know Ben said many years ago that the strongest bond can create with your customers around shared set of values like he understood that that's speaking out about the things that he believes in and and taking action on issues that are renewed. Values. Not only was it not bad for business, but it actually created a an affinity. And a level of loyalty. For people who support and share values. That's. You know that's very powerful, and so you know we've grown business near over near for forty two years like. It may seem counterintuitive for conventional traditional marketer. To WanNA. Step into something that feels controversial, but we're really okay with the idea that not everyone is going to lunch. And we'RE GONNA. Continue to grow the right like that's we're. We're comfortable WHA-. Yeah and it's interesting where it's like you said it could feel controversial. What you guys are saying. It's just like white. Supremacy is bad, which is not really A. Shouldn't be a controversial statement and it shouldn't be into that point into what you've been talking about. Ben and Jerry's might be a an exception here because you know. I think it's pretty clear where you guys fall on the political spectrum, but when a company makes a statement like this what are the risks involved? And what are the benefits? Are you just going in realizing that you know? Unfortunately, there are a lot of people that probably. Don't want to buy your ice cream. Because you believe in these things, do weigh those risks Do you weigh the benefits, or is it just you know? Collateral damage that you don't mind losing people as customers if they don't believe in the same things that you as a company believe in. No I'll tell you the thing I worry about. I don't worry about people disagreeing with us because. We are standing up. Announcing structural racism and supremacy. What I worry about is. I guess getting too far out over our skis. Want those who are on the front lines.