BURLINGTON, VT. — Ben and Jerry’s is removing the claim that its ice cream comes from “happy cows” on all packaging.
The news came in the company’s response to a class action lawsuit filed in October, which accused the Vermont-based ice cream maker and parent company Unilever of misleading consumers. The complaint alleged Ben and Jerry’s sources only a small portion of its ingredients from local farms that participate in its Caring Dairy program, which promotes animal welfare and environmental standards.
“The remaining milk and cream originate from factory-style, mass-production dairy operations, exactly what consumers who choose Ben and Jerry’s products would like to avoid,” the complaint said.
Ben and Jerry’s filed a motion to dismiss the case on Jan. 13.
The company argued it never claimed its ingredients were sourced exclusively from “happy cows.” It also said the phrase was removed from the back of its cartons months ago and will no longer appear on store shelves in the future.
The phrase was removed “as part of a redesign of the packaging made necessary by new F.D.A. requirements to modify the Nutrition Facts panel on the label,” the motion said.
The case is similar to a class action lawsuit filed by the Organic Consumers Association against the company in July 2018.
A District of Colombia Superior Court rejected Ben and Jerry’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit last year.