Ice cream company Ben & Jerry's has openly announced its support for the group Black Lives Matter.

The company, which has previously made statements supporting gay marriage and speaking out on climate change, released a seven-point list detailing the ways systemic racism affects minority groups in the US, as well as an essay on Black Lives Matter.

"It's been hard to watch the list of unarmed black Americans killed by law enforcement officers grow longer and longer," the essay said.

"We understand that numerous black Americans and white Americans have profoundly different experiences and outcomes with law enforcement and the criminal justice system. That's why it's become clear to us at Ben & Jerry's that we have a moral obligation to take a stand now for justice and for black lives.

"We want to be clear: we believe that saying black lives matter is not to say that the lives of those who serve in the law enforcement community don't. We respect and value the commitment to our communities that those in law enforcement make, and we respect the value of every one of their lives."

The announcement came with the release of its new flavour 'Empowermint', which aims to stand up for voting rights, particularly in cases where certain groups have less access to participation in democracy.

The BLM statement has provoked a reaction on social media, with many people tweeting their support of the ice cream company's stance on BLM and others suggesting flavour names.

Ben & Jerry's also had some words for those people who respond to the slogan black lives matter with "all lives matter", stating: "All lives do matter. But all lives will not matter until black lives matter.

"We ask people to be open to understanding these issues, and not to reflexively retreat to our current beliefs," the statement added.

"Change happens when people are willing to listen and hear the struggles of their neighbour, putting aside preconceived notions and truly seeking to understand and grow. We'll be working hard on that, and ask you to as well."