Vered Yeriho is a settlement Moshav (a type of cooperative agricultural community) situated on a hilltop just West of Jericho in the occupied Jordan Valley. Established in 1979, it is part of the Megilot Regional Council and has a small settler population of under 150 people. Like most other settlements in the Jordan Valley, it relies on agriculture for economic activity. When Corporate Watch visited in January, we found one Agrexco branded and one other packing house operated by the settlement, and we have previously reported on interviews with Palestinian settlement workers working the Vered Yeriho fields.
Jericho Inn guest house located in the settlement Vered Yeriho in the occupied Jordan Valley.
Sign for Christian Friends of Israeli Communities in the illegal Israeli settlement Ma’ale Efrayim.
Corporate Watch has previously reported on the role that Zionist charities play in the support of illegal settlements and a recent research trip provided more evidence of this practice. On 21st January 2013 Corporate Watch researchers photographed a sign stating that Christian Friends of Israeli Communities (CFOIC) had donated a playground in Ma’ale Efrayim, an illegal settlement with a population of around 1400 in the occupied Jordan Valley.
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.
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
An Israeli company which supplies water infrastructure in Israel’s illegal settlements in the West Bank is gaining contracts to supply equipment to water companies in the UK. Israeli company Arad has gained a contract to provide Southern Water with £7.1 million worth of water meters annually for five years with the option to extend when the contract expires. The contract was signed in February 2010 and the meters are currently being installed. Arad is also providing pressure sensors to the Welsh water utility.
Arad has installed 3,200 water meters in the illegal Israeli settlement of Ariel and the Barkan settlement industrial zone. The water system is managed by the Mei Ariel Water Corporation.
Arad also develops water meters for the Israeli state owned company Mekorot. Mekorot has a near monopoly on water supply in Israel and also operates and develops water infrastrucure in Area C of the West Bank, where Palestinians are forbidden to develop even basic water infrastructure.
A Mekorot water facility at the Reservoir Au France – occupied Jordan Valley – photo taken February 2013
Signage at the Mekorot water facility at the Reservoir Au France – occupied Jordan Valley – photo taken by Corporate Watch in February 2013
Posted in Corporate Watch Research Blogs
Tagged Almog, Arad Ltd, British companies with relationships with Israeli companies, Contazara, England, Fasayil, Jordan Valley, Khan al Ahmar, Master Meter, Mei Ariel Water Corporation, Mekorot, Reservoir Au France, Southern Water, Spanish Companies, US Companies, Wales, Water
Labels manufactured for packaging Morrisons own brand Medjoul dates found in the illegal Israeli settlement of Tomer
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.
In January 2013 Corporate Watch obtained labels for Morrisons own brand Medjoul dates from the Israeli settlement of Tomer in the occupied Jordan Valley. The labels were for produce with an expiry date in December 2013 and the store has confirmed that they were produced for dates exported during the last Ramadan season. The exporter was the Israeli date growers cooperative Hadiklaim (see here). Continue reading
Posted in Agriculture
Tagged Agriculture, Dates, Farming Injustice, Hadiklaim, Jordan Valley, Karsten, Ramadan, South Africa, Supermarkets/Retail, Tomer, UK
A Mehadrin sign with a Jaffa logo on it in fields used by Massua settlement
On February 9th a coalition of civil society groups have called for an international day of action against Israeli agricultural companies in line with the movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) 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.
On 28th January 2o13 Corporate Watch photographed a Mehadrin sign bearing the logo of the Jaffa brand on land which had been fenced off by the Massua settlement close to the Palestinian community of Abu Al Ajaj.
Posted in Corporate Watch Research Blogs
Tagged Abu al Ajaj, Area C, Home Demolitions, Jaffa, Jordan Valley, Massua, Mehadrin, Retail, Sainsburys, Supermarkets/Retail, Tesco
Corporate Watch has been asked by campaigners for information on Bezeq‘s telecommunications infrastructure in Israel’s illegal settlements. We have collected some more information.
Bezeq, previously a state-owned company, has historically had a monopoloy on the telecommunications market. Since the 1990s, the state has been selling off its stake in Bezeq. The company is now owned by private consortia. For more information on Bezeq click here.
Bezeq sign in the illegal Israeli settlement of Almog
Posted in Corporate Watch Research Blogs, Dead Sea
Tagged Almog, Bezeq, BT, Companies Working on settlements, Dead Sea, East Jerusalem, Jordan Valley, Kfar Adumim, Ma'ale Efraim, Ramat Eshkol, Telecommunications
On February 9th 2013 a coalition of civil society groups has called for an international day of action against Israeli agricultural companies in line with the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) 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.
Corporate Watch has obtained evidence that EDOM, a partly British owned agricultural export company, is still exporting fresh produce from the illegal settlement of Tomer. On Wednesday 16th January 2013 researchers acquired EDOM branded packaging which had been taken from Tomer settlement. The packaging had been mislabelled as coming from a kibbutz in 1948 Israel. The company director has previously pledged not to stock goods from the settlements.
EDOM supply to several major British supermarkets, including Waitrose and Sainsburys, through the British company Valley Grown Salads, based in Essex.
Edom packaging found in the illegal settlement of Tomer
Posted in Agriculture, Corporate Watch Research Blogs
Tagged Agriculture, Al Maleh, Chosen Agricultural Produce, Dates, Doron, EDOM, Edom UK, Farming Injustuce, Jimmy Russo, Jordan Valley, Magnolia Holdings, Mislabelling, Sainsburys, Tomer, Valley Grown Salads, Waitrose, Yair Azoulay