Corporate Watch has received documents showing that Cargoflora Ltd has gone into administration. The documents state that “Their company is no longer operating and their affairs are being handled by an administrator”. The company is also listed as “in liquidation” on the Companies House database. Continue reading
During a recent visit to the Jordan Valley, Corporate Watch found evidence of a company operating from there that we previously haven’t come across. Cherriessa, trading under the slogan ’From Farm to Market’ is a family owned business which claims to sort, package and export vegetables from Israel to Europe. According to Cherriessa Ltd’s web-site, the company was founded in 2009 to ‘address the developing and growth of ‘The Saada Family Modern Farm’. The Saada Farm was founded in 1989 and exported their produce through Carmel Agrexco.
Cherriessa labels aimed for the European market obtained in the occupied Jordan Valley.
A sign in the fields of the illegal settlement of Kalia in the Israeli occupied Jordan Valley for ‘organic goods’ grown by Hayun Yitzhak – taken by Corporate Watch researchers on 26/01/2013
Corporate Watch visited the fields of the illegal settlement of Kalia, a settlement kibbutz on the coast of the Dead Sea, on the 26th January 2013.
Carmel-Agrexco was Israel’s main agricultural export company, exporting 70% of all fresh produce from Israel’s illegal settlements, until September 2011 when it was formally liquidated, partly due to pressure from the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. Formerly state owned, Agrexco has been privately purchased by Bickel Flowers and, according to Who Profits?, has regained a significant proportion of its former market.
A packing house bearing Agrexco signage, which was packaging goods for Agrexco’s ECOFRESH brand in 2010, was operating nearby but was packaging goods for export by other agricultural companies instead of Agrexco, indicating that Agrexco has lost some of its market in this region.
Crops were labelled as being grown for export by Carmel Agrexco. One sign read “Organic FC [Field Crops], Hayun Yitzhak”. Continue reading
Jimmy Russo, the Company Chairman of EDOM, has told Corporate Watch that he plans to “resign” from his chairmanship and “actively seek to sell” his 20% shareholding in the Israeli company. His announcement was in reply to questions about new evidence found by Corporate Watch that EDOM UK, the Israeli company (despite the misleading name), is packaging cherry tomatoes in the Israeli settlement of Beit Ha’arava in the occupied Jordan Valley.
EDOM branded products are sold in Sainsburys stores in the UK
EDOM UK cherry tomatoes acquired from a packing house in the illegal settlement of Beit Ha’arava – Photo taken by Corporate Watch researchers February 2013
Packing house being used to package EDOM UK cherry tomatoes – the signs on the outside say Agrexco and Hadiklaim – photo taken by Corporate Watch 4th January 2013
Back in 2010 Corporate Watch urged Russo to divest his shares. We wrote:
“To continue to maintain shares in EDOM is to ignore the suffering of those who have lived their entire lives under Israeli apartheid and occupation. The only way to remain ethical in this context is to divest.”
Russo, who is also the director of British company Valley Grown Salads (VGS), made the following “commitments” on 7th February 2013:
“1. I will confirm that I will resign as [EDOM] company chairman with immediate effect as I do not want my company, VGS receiving this constant harassment every year and being involved in political situations which are totally out of my control.
2. I will actively seek to sell my 20% stake holding in the company as the aggravation for no reward is not worth continuing with.”
Russo confirms that VGS will not source goods from the West Bank in the future but says that the company will continue sourcing from EDOM and other companies in Israel.
Russo also pledged to answer questions put to VGS by Corporate Watch and other media outlets.
Corporate Watch has contacted EDOM but has not received a reply. Continue reading
Posted in Agriculture, Corporate Watch Research Blogs
Tagged Agrexco, Agriculture, Beit Ha'arava, British companies with relationships with Israeli companies, Chosen Agricultural Produce, divestment, EDOM, Edom UK, Glinwell, Hadiklaim, Israeli Companies, Jimmy Russo, Jordan Valley, Magnolia Holdings, Mislabelling, Russia, Tesco, Tomatoes, UK
On February 9th a coalition of civil society groups has called for an international day of action against Israeli agricultural companies in line with the movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israeli militarism, apartheid and colonisation. Corporate Watch researchers are in Palestine collecting new information and over the coming weeks Corporate Watch will be writing a series of articles and blogs examining Israeli agricultural exports. Continue reading
Posted in Corporate Watch Research Blogs
Tagged Agrexco, Agriculture, Almog, Bickel Flowers, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Farming Injustice, Greece, Hishtil, Italy, Jordan Valley, Mehola, Russia, South Africa, Susya, Turkey
- Grape fields in the illegal Israeli settlement Beqa’ot in the occupied Jordan Valley
Two and a half years ago Corporate Watch visited the illegal Israeli settlement Beqa’ot
in the Jordan Valley
, where we found packing houses belonging to the agricultural exporter Mehadrin Tnuport Export Company (MTEX). The produce being prepared for export was mislabeled as ‘produce of Israel’ despite being from the occupied West Bank. As we exposed at the time, Mehadrin produce is sold through Tesco stores in the UK
. Last week we made another visit to the settlement to find out whether recent developments in UK and Israel has had an effect on the conduct of the company.
Posted in Agriculture, Corporate Watch Research Blogs
Tagged Adafresh, Agrexco, Agriculture, Arava, Be'erot Yitzhaq, Beqa'ot, Companies Working on settlements, Farming Injustice, Israeli Companies, Jordan Valley, Mehadrin, Mislabelling, Supermarkets/Retail, Tesco, The Co Op
Joint talk by Brighton Jordan Valley Solidarity and Corporate Watch
view at http://www.inminds.com/article.php?id=10503
Greenhouses in Ro'i illegal settlement
As part of Corporate Watch’s efforts to map settlement exports from the Jordan Valley, we visited the illegal Israeli settlement of Ro’i earlier this year.
Established in 1976, Ro’i is a “typical” Jordan Valley settlement in that it has a low population (of less than 150 settlers), but has stolen large areas of land from the indigenous Palestinian population. With its private security, army protection and rows upon rows of greenhouses, Ro’i poses a challenge to the existence of Bedouin communities such as nearby Al Hadidya and Ras-Al Ahmar, who are under constant threat of house demolitions and army harassment aimed at the ethnic cleansing of bedouin from the area. The Israeli’s described these communities as a “security threat” to the settlers.
Al Hadidya is located just next to Ro’i, which was partially built on their land, and inhabitants have to more or less drive through the the outskirts of the settlement in order to reach their home. Any company trading from Ro’i, or importing their produce, are directly responsible for the very real possibility of Al Hadidya’s forced extinction.
Al Hadidya's - in the shadow of Ro'i settlement
given by Corporate Watch at the Sheffield Anarchist Bookfair: