NEW YORK — Ben & Jerry’s, a Unilever brand, is re-launching its full line of flavors without bioengineered ingredients this year.
Currently, 80% of the ice cream maker’s ingredients by volume in the United States and Canada are sourced non-G.M.O. The company said it expects to convert all of its ingredients by mid-2014. All of its products in Europe already are made without bioengineered ingredients.
Ingredient transparency has long been a priority for Ben & Jerry’s, which supported I-522, a measure on Washington state ballots last November to require labeling for food and beverage products with bioengineered ingredients. The company also is transitioning to fair trade certified ingredients, specifically vanilla, sugar and cocoa, to support farmers in developing countries.
“It’s a lot of work, but our team stays focused on the larger picture — on the farmers in Belize who are getting a fair wage for their sugar cane; on the farmers in the U.S. who will grow a field of non-G.M.O. corn next year instead of buying their genetically modified seeds again; on the children of producers who have a chance to go to school because their parents are part of a fair trade cooperative,” the company said on its web site.A packaging redesign also is under way to reflect the ingredient changes.