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Ben & Jerry's announced that its fairtrade program will be its primary values led sourcing (VLS) endeavor for 2013.
VLS is when the purchases of ingredients are given back to the global community. In 2013, Ben & Jerry's products in the U.S. will transition to carry the international FAIRTRADE Certification mark. The chain is working to utilize all of the fair trade ingredients that it can with its longterm partner Fairtrade International.
"We're working hard to transition eligible ingredients to be fairtrade," said Kate Paine, Ben & Jerry's fairtrade project manager. "Our products have an immense variety of chunks and swirls, making it an extremely complex conversion. But we look forward to the challenge as we aggressively pursue the Fairtrade conversion by the end of 2013."
Ben & Jerry's and Fairtrade International USA (FIU) will take larger steps together to continue to educate about the model of Fairtrade. The two organizations will hold a stakeholder summit in the first quarter of 2013; Ben & Jerry's plans activations around both international and domestic Fairtrade celebrations throughout the year. Ben & Jerry's will also use its website, social media channels and events to educate fans on the topic.
"It's important to know that we're supporting Fairtrade because it's a way for us to practice our social justice mission," said Jostein Solheim, Ben & Jerry's CEO. "It's not charity; it is a commitment to practice business in a meaningful way."
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