Response from Ben & Jerry’s to allegations of child labour in its supply chain
... On February 25, 2023, The New York Times published a story titled Alone and Exploited, Migrant Children Work Brutal Jobs Across the US. This story examines, through first-hand accounts, the harsh reality many unaccompanied migrants, some as young as 13, face coming across the US border in search of economic opportunity. Ben & Jerry’s is mentioned in this article, which includes discussion of the dairy supply chain in our home state of Vermont.
... Ben & Jerry’s stands in strong opposition to child labor. We have a long history of standing for justice and equity, and using our business to improve the lives and livelihoods of those we serve and work with. These beliefs do not stop at our company’s supply chain.
It is an established fact that the dairy industry comes with profound social and environmental challenges. It is with this understanding that we, over the lifetime of the company, have sought to implement innovative solutions on dairy farms that promote thriving livelihoods for farmers and farmworkers, support animal welfare, and mitigate the negative environmental impacts of dairy farming.
It is for these reasons that in 2017 Ben & Jerry’s was the first business to sign on to Milk with Dignity, an independent farmworker-led human rights program for advancing dignified working conditions on dairy farms...
We take the claims made by The New York Times seriously. If ongoing monitoring programs or farmworker hotlines identify incidents of child labor on the farms that flow into the dairy suppliers we purchase from, we will take decisive action in conjunction with our suppliers and the Milk with Dignity Standards Council ... .