American ice-cream behemoth Ben & Jerry’s has weighed in on the Voice to Parliament referendum, announcing its support for the Yes campaign 15 days out from the crucial vote.
The beloved ice-cream brand is famed for its outspoken activism and has a long history of backing progressive causes ranging from gay rights to support for Palestine.
While polls show support for the Yes case is melting away, Ben & Jerry’s is among several businesses that have publicly endorsed the proposed constitutional change.
“As a values-led company with a long history of advocating for progressive social change, Ben & Jerry’s wholeheartedly stands by the Uluru Statement from the Heart and its call for Voice, treaty, and truth,” the Vermont-based company said in a statement.
“We support an unequivocal ‘Yes’ vote at the upcoming referendum and see this as an important step towards self determination and a more fair future.”
The company also stated its wider commitment to reconciliation beyond the Voice to Parliament.
“While the Voice is a critical step, the Voice cannot be the final destination – it is clear that on its own, it is entirely inadequate to address the impacts of centuries of colonisation, unfair policies and racism,” the statement read.
Last week, Ben & Jerry’s was accused by franchisees of not allowing stores to display support for an Indigenous Voice to Parliament.
When Australians head to the polls to cast their vote to enshrine the advisory body in the Constitution, they will be asked to answer the following:
A Proposed Law: to alter the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.
Do you approve this proposed alteration?
To succeed, the referendum needs to secure a “double majority” – a hurdle that requires majority support across the country and majority support in at least four of six states.
With just over two weeks until voting day, Voice advocates are well behind in published polls and sentiment against the proposal appears to be solidifying.
In 2016, Ben & Jerry’s publicly supported the Yes vote in the same-sex marriage postal survey and banned Australian customers from buying two scoops of the same ice-cream flavour until same-sex marriage was legalised.