Unilever has announced that its Breyers, Fruttare, Magnum and Lipton brand products have all made significant commitments to responsible sourcing.
Beginning this month, Breyers will only use real vanilla from Rainforest Alliance-certified vanilla beans from Madagascar. The company will now also only source milk and cream from farmers who don’t treat their cows with artificial growth hormones, making Breyers the largest packaged U.S. ice cream brand to do so.
Unilever’s additional ice cream brands — Fruttare, Good Humor, Klondike, Magnum and Popsicle — will follow suit and cut out milk and cream from cows treated with artificial growth hormones in 2015. This shift makes Unilever the largest ice cream manufacturer in the world to make this commitment.
"Breyers has a longstanding history of offering frozen treats with high-quality ingredients that moms feel good about," said Alessandra Bellini, VP of brand development at Unilever North America. "These industry-leading changes are the latest in our commitment to do right by parents and the environment."
Fruttare will also source sustainably farmed strawberries, coconuts, bananas and limes from sustainable farms from California to Ecuador to the Philippines.
Additionally, Magnum ice creams will now contain sustainably sourced cocoa, and all Lipton leaf tea bags in North America are now 100 percent sourced from Rainforest Alliance-certified tea farms and gardens.
"Parents are increasingly aware of the impact their shopping decisions have on the world at large," said Donita Dooley, senior manager of global media strategy, marketing & communications at the Rainforest Alliance. "Now, parents can feel good about the fact that 100 percent of the vanilla in every carton of Breyers® derives from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ vanilla beans. With this important step, Breyers® is helping to improve environmental protection, social equity and economic viability for farm communities."
Other ice cream companies have also committed to more responsible ingredients: Haagen-Dasz and General Mills switched to sustainably farmed Madagascan vanilla in 2013; last year, Ben & Jerry’s moved all 50 of its flavors to non-genetically-modified, Fair Trade-certified ingredients; and Stonyfield Farm has even gone so far as to map out all of its ingredient sources.