How Ben & Jerry’s Perfected the Delicate Recipe for Corporate Activism

Other companies tried to align themselves with the Black Lives Matter protests and failed. The Vermont creamery kept doing what it’s always done.

by Jordyn Holman & Thomas Buckley for Bloomberg Business Week

Anuradha Mittal was about to step out of her home in Oakland, Calif., on the last Friday of May, but first she had one last email to send. She was on her way to one of the demonstrations that had broken out around the world five days after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Like hundreds of other protesters, she’d be praying and dancing late into the night, in streets blurred by billowing tear gas and teeming with riot police.

The note Mittal, the board chair of Ben & Jerry’s, was sending was to the chief executive officer, Matthew McCarthy, requesting that a statement be prepared by Monday. She wanted the ice cream brand to express support for the Black Lives Matter movement and decry the violence against Floyd, who’d died while being restrained by a White law enforcement officer less than 15 minutes after his arrest for allegedly using a counterfeit bill to buy cigarettes. McCarthy replied immediately to assure her his team was already on it.




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