Great Barrier Reef campaign sees Australian minister call for Ben and Jerry's boycott
The WWF has said it fears the Reef will be damaged by dredge spoil
An Australian Environment Minister has called on citizens to boycott the popular ice cream brand Ben and Jerry’s, after the firm began backing WWF’s campaign to save the Great Barrier Reef.
Earlier in April, Ben and Jerry’s withdrew its popular Phish Food flavour and handed out free ice creams across Australia, to raise awareness of the potential damage being caused to the reef.
Ben and Jerry's said the risks lie in a combination of intensive dredging, dumping, as well as the presence of mega-ports and shipping highways.
Queensland minister Andrew Powell called the project “propaganda” and said it had damaged the reputation of the reef, and jeopardised jobs and tourism in the area.
“Another company has signed up to the campaign of lies and deceit that's been propagated by WWF,” Powell said.
“The only people taking a scoop out of the reef are Ben and Jerry's and Unilever.
"If you understand the facts, you'd want to be boycotting Ben and Jerry's."
He added that he would outline his concerns in a letter to Unilever, the brand’s parent company.
However, Kalli Swaik, the ice cream firm's Australia brand manager, said: "Ben & Jerry's believes that dredging and dumping in world heritage waters surrounding the marine park area will be detrimental to the reef ecology.
"It threatens the health of one of Australia's most iconic treasures."
Fish are seen swimming around coral formations in Lady Elliot Island, Australia.
Read more: Starfish are smothering the Reef and digesting its flesh
Tony Abbott: 'Forests should not be locked up from loggers'
Great Barrier Reef dredging threat
The campaign comes after 3 million cubic metres of dredge spoil were dumped in the marine park and World Heritage area in January, to enable the Abbott Point coal port expansion – a move approved by The Queensland and federal governments.
The government predicts 70 per cent of the spoil will settle on the seabed.
But animal conservation charity WWF fear the spoil may get caught in currents and smother or poison the reefs just 40km away.
The CEO of WWF, Dermot O'Gorman, said the campaign reflected the concern of people around the world about how the reef is being managed.
"Ben & Jerry's' tour is a timely reminder that the world expects the Queensland and Australian governments to lift their game," he said.
Unesco is due to meet in June to consider the Australian government's progress in improving the management of the reef.
It's due to decide this year or next whether to list the reef as a world heritage site in danger.
Additional reporting by AP
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
Migrants crossing the Mediterranean: Pope Francis joins calls for EU action on boat refugees
Yemen crisis: Meet the child soldiers who have forsaken books for Kalashnikovs
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Isis in Afghanistan: Group claims responsibility for Jalalabad suicide bombing that killed 35
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...