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Ben and Jerry's Hides the Dirty Truth About Their Dairy

Today is the birthday of United Farm Workers of America co-founder Cesar Chavez. In honor of this date, Milk with Dignity strongly encourages you to call Ben and Jerry’s and tell them that “Actions speak louder than words! Farmworkers’ human rights cannot wait! Honor your commitment to farmworkers & join and implement the Milk with Dignity Program without further delay!”

Ben & Jerry’s can be reached at (802) 846-1500 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST. They also have a Facebook page where you can ask them to honor their commitment to join the Milk with Dignity program. 

The twin threats of GMO seeds and pesticide overuse often divert attention away from the mistreatment of farm workers by a profit obsessed agricultural industry. Please call Ben & Jerry’s today and let them know that actions speak louder than words and to honor their commitment to farm workers and the environment. 

Milk with Dignity’s campaign was inspired by Cesar Chavez, a man best known for unionizing migrant workers, but who spent the final years of his life fighting against the misuse of dangerous pesticides. Cesar Chavez brought attention to the clouds of poisons that saturated the fields where farm workers toiled and the cancer clusters, birth defects and debilitating illnesses that ravaged their lives. In honor of his birthday, here is a transcript of his 1989 speech on pesticides at Pacific Lutheran University.  

Ben & Jerry’s pays lip service to environmental causes but their stewardship leaves much to be desired. They are responsible for any worker, animal and environmental abuse that occurs within their supply chain. This is unfortunate because with revenues close to $600 million a year and growing, they’re perfectly positioned to become the standard bearer of sustainable and ethical agriculture. They surely hold enough sway to prompt real change in the dairy industry.

Ben & Jerry’s clings to the idyllic pastoral image evoked by its Vermont heritage, but the state is no longer home to an abundance of happily grazing cows producing rich, creamy milk with which to make their premium ice cream.  Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are the norm, and farmers have been compelled to cut costs to compete and increase milk production using artificial methods and embracing questionable ethics.
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