NY pension fund puts Unilever on
notice over Ben & Jerry's sales ban
Unilever has been warned that the New York State
Common Retirement Fund may block investments into the company.
Alamy Stock Photo
The main pension fund for New York's state govern- ment workers and retirees warned Ben & Jerry's par- ent company, Unilever, on Friday that it might restrict its investments in the company because of the ice
cream maker's decision to halt sales in Israeli-occu-
In a letter obtained by The Post, Liz Gordon, executive director of corporate governance for the $254.8 bil- lion New York State Common Retirement Fund, in- formed Unilever CEO Alan Jope that state Comp- troller Thomas DiNapoli "is troubled and concerned"
by Ben & Jerry's announcement.
Gordon noted that the state pension fund has a policy of restricting investments in companies involved in the anti-Israel boycott, divestment, and sanctions
(BDS) movement, and reports suggest that "Ben &
Jerry's, a Unilever wholly owned subsidiary, is in- volved in BDS activities."
"The Fund views BDS activities as a potential threat to Israel, its economy, and, as a result, the Fund's rel- evant investments,' she wrote. "Further, a number of
US. states have acted or are considering actions to
penalize companies that engage in such behavior.
"As a result, companies that engage in BDS activities
may face legal, reputational and financial risks."
Gordon gave Jope 90 days to respond to the letter and "confirm or deny whether Unilever or its subsidi- aries have undertaken any activities with the intent to penalize, inflict economic harm on, or limit commer- cial relations with, the State of Israel."