Posted on Aug 12, 2020
In an extraordinary turn of events, American ice cream brand Ben & Jerry's UK Twitter team has entered into a war of words with Home Secretary Priti Patel over her handling - or otherwise - of the daily flow of economic migrants crossing the English Channel from France.
The Ben & Jerry's team claim that the migrants are fleeing war: a claim they appear to back up with an image of migrants on board a UK Border Force boat in the Channel.
To the best of EUToday's knowledge there has been no armed conflict in France since 1945.
A UK Home Office source, in a rather blunt statement, told the BBC: "Priti is working day and night to bring an end to these small boat crossings, which are facilitated by international criminal gangs and are of serious concern. If that means upsetting the social media team for a brand of overpriced junk food then so be it."
The intervention may prove an embarrassment for the company. Worse than that, it may cost them dearly. A number of posts on the ever-expanding thread on the subject that Ben & Jerry's say that they set up for Home Secretary Priti Patel's benefit suggest they may be facing a boycott.
Ben & Jerry's, which is owned by Unilever, has faced criticism of its own treatment of migrant workers as recently as 2018, when the conditions of its workers were brought into focus.
Likewise its Anglo-Dutch parent company, Unilever, which in a 2016 report by Amnesty International, found itself linked to allegations concerning the use of child labour involving children as young as eight. To be fair to Unilever, which in 2017 reportedly had a turnover of €53.7 billion, it was not alone in this. At least eight other major brands were named.
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Main image: File:1.20.10HobokenBen&Jerry'sByLuigiNovi2.jpg via Wikipedia
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