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Ben & Jerry’s sued over claims of ‘happy cows’

Ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s has been sued by an environmentalist that claims the FMCG giant is deceiving customers by saying that its milk and cream comes from “happy cows.”

James Ehlers filed a case against the ice cream company for “breached consumer trust”, due to a representation that the milk and cream comes from cows at Vermont dairies under the “Caring Dairy” program, yet he says half comes from “factory-style, mass-production” dairy operations.

He believes that the claims have allowed Ben & Jerry’s and parent Unilever to charge premium prices. Ehlers filed a class action on October 29 in the federal court in Burlington, Vermont seeking damages for those who have bought the ice cream brand in the US. He also wants Ben & Jerry’s to stop making the above claim with its milk and cream.

A Ben & Jerry’s spokeswoman, Laura Peterson, told Reuters that the company was “committed to building a resilient, regenerative dairy supply” and its Caring Dairy program is “the most progressive in the industry.”

The Caring Dairy program requires dairy farms to meet certain standards to ensure humane treatment of cows.

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