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
- 1 Isis burns thousands of books and rare manuscripts from Mosul's libraries
- 2 Scarlett Johansson new band 'already hit with legal complaint' from another The Singles
- 3 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 5 'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Liam Gallagher brands Kanye West 'utter s**t' during BRIT Awards performance
Isis burns thousands of books and rare manuscripts from Mosul's libraries
Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
Mohammed Emwazi: Family of man named as 'Jihadi John' described by neighbours as 'normal Muslim family'
Mohammed Emwazi: Nine things we know about man named as Isis militant 'Jihadi John'
Oscars 2015: Birdman beats Boyhood as Eddie Redmayne and Patricia Arquette win big - as it happened
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
£15600 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...
£23000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small, friendly, proactive...
£14500 - £22800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Software Developer is required to join a lea...