British firm producing Magnum and Cornetto is STILL selling ice creams in Russia despite their invasion of Ukraine
- Unilever faces a mounting backlash over its decision keep selling in Russia
- It is one of only a handful of Western firms still trading there since the invasion
- Boss Alan Jope said they would supply only’essential food and hygiene products’
- The renowned British company declined to comment on the allegations
A renowned British company faces a mounting backlash over its decision to keep selling ice creams in Russia.
Unilever is one of only a handful of Western firms still trading there since the invasion of Ukraine. Its boss Alan Jope said in March that the company would supply only ‘essential food and hygiene products’.
But it is still selling Magnum and Cornetto ice cream in Russia, with critics questioning whether the treats can be classed as ‘essential’.
Tory MP Bob Seely said: ‘The last time I looked, ice cream was neither a medicine nor an essential good, so why are they still selling them in Russia? Those companies still there should be ashamed of themselves.’
Unilever is one of only a handful of Western firms still trading there since the invasion of Ukraine. Its boss Alan Jope said in March that the company would supply only ‘essential food and hygiene products’ but it is still selling Magnum and Cornetto ice cream in Russia
US anti-corruption campaigner Bill Browder said companies still in Russia were ‘doing business with murderers’.
He added: ‘It’s beyond me how any decent person watching the mass murder that Russia is inflicting on Ukrainians can for a second continue to do business with the murderers.
I wonder how these people can look themselves in the mirror or face their families when they continue to enable such evil.’
Campaigners questioned whether Unilever’s stance on Russia was compatible with its lofty claim to be ‘driven by our purpose’.
A statement on the Unilever website says: ‘We want to act on the social and environmental issues facing the world and we want to enhance people’s lives with our products.’
But Mark Dixon, of the Moral Rating Agency, which is trying to get companies to withdraw from Russia, said Unilever was a ‘hypocrite’.
He said: ‘It claims to care about issues facing the world but is right now supporting the country causing the most dangerous issue in the world. It uses the words ‘essential food’ to justify selling non-essential food like Magnum and Cornetto ice creams. Since when were such products good for health or survival?
‘It is hypocritical to condemn a war when you support the economy that pays for it. We should all boycott Unilever products until it leaves Russia.’
Unilever declined to comment on the allegations last night.
A spokesman said previously: ‘We continue to condemn the war in Ukraine as a brutal and senseless act by the Russian state.
‘We have suspended all imports and exports of our products into and out of Russia, and we will stop all media and advertising spend. We will not invest any further capital into the country nor will we profit from our presence in Russia.
We will continue to supply our everyday essential food and hygiene products made in Russia to people in the country. We will keep this under close review.’
Unilever has repeatedly boasted of its status of having ‘a long tradition of being a responsible and pioneering business’. The company claims to take action ‘on social and environmental issues’ which affect its customers.
Its values have been decried by investors who claim the company has become too woke for its own good. Earlier this year, long-term investor Terry Smith, a leading hedge fund manager, used an annual letter to his investors to claim that Unilever’s executives had ‘lost the plot’.