Apartheid in the Fields: From Occupied Palestine to UK Supermarkets (2020 Update), Part 7.5: Morrisons

Throughout 2019, and in early 2020, Corporate Occupation spotted lots of Israeli produce in Morrisons. These fresh fruit and vegetables are sourced from key companies which export from Israeli settlements. Indeed, Morrisons has a history of using suppliers which source produce from settlements.

In January 2013 Corporate Occupation obtained packaging labels from the Israeli settlement of Tomer for Morrisons own-brand Medjoul dates. 1 The dates were to be exported to the UK by Israeli date growers’ cooperative Hadiklaim (see page 36).

When presented with the evidence, a Morrisons media officer claimed that the chain “does not source goods from the Occupied Palestinian Territories”. 2 After looking into the issue further, Morrisons issued a statement about the Tomer labels.

“We do not source any products from the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including the West Bank. The Medjoul dates in question are grown in and sourced from Israel and always have been. Exceptionally, these dates were packed in Tomer while an alternative site was found and although the information on the label was legally correct we recognise it was not in the spirit of the country of origin claim. Since this time our Medjoul dates have been packed, as well as grown and sourced, in the state of Israel.”

As the Corporate Occupation article written at the time notes, the idea that dates were grown in Israel and packed in Tomer appears implausible. Hadiklaim has several packing houses in Israel so it seems unlikely that the company would drive dates grown in Israel into the occupied Jordan Valley for packing. And regardless, Hadiklaim did not see a problem in using an illegal settlement to pack its produce.

In the past year, Corporate Occupation researchers have photographed avocados and mangoes on sale at Morrisons, supplied by Galilee (see page 33). We have also spotted Hadiklaim dates in the supermarket (see page 36), as well as Miriam Shoham pomegranates (see page 32). All of these companies should be key targets for the BDS movement, as they all source produce from settlements.

Morrisons also sources fresh produce from Greenyard Fresh, a Belgian corporation which imports fruit and vegetables from Israeli companies like Hadiklaim (see page 54). The supermarket also stocks Israeli Barkan wine.

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