Apartheid in the Fields: From Occupied Palestine to UK Supermarkets (2020 Update), Part 7.8: Asda

Asda has made several statements denying that it stocks goods from
the West Bank since ITN’s 2007 report on settlement goods in UK supermarkets.

However, in 2009 Asda made several ambiguous statements contradicting its earlier stance. A spokesperson from the company wrote:

“I am sure you can imagine it is very difficult for Asda to take a position on behalf of all our customers over politically controversial issues such as the current conflict you refer to [the occupation of Palestine]. On the sourcing of products from overseas we are always guided by the position of the UK Government and by the European Union on trade policy.”

There is evidence to suggest that Asda has continued to stock goods from Israel’s settlements. For example, in 2009 it was reported that Asda was stocking Yarden wine, which is bottled in the Israeli occupied Syrian Golan.[1] In January 2020 we photographed Mehadrin dates marked as
Asda’s own-brand ‘Extra Special’ Medjoul dates. Mehadrin sources dates from the Jordan Valley settlements (see page 26). The supermarket also stocks Galilee red grapefruit (see page 33). Galilee is another key company which sources much of its fresh produce from settlements.

We have photographed other Israeli fresh produce in Asda. Although we couldn’t identify the name of the Israeli growers or exporters, we were able to identify some of the UK importers. Two UK companies importing Israeli produce for Asda are IPL and Watts Farms. IPL sources produce specifically for Asda (see page 55). Watts Farms provides fresh goods for various retailers (see page 56).

Campaigners have held many pickets of Asda stores since 2009, protesting against the sale of Israeli goods. During the attack on Gaza in 2014, campaigners entered an Asda store in Belfast and removed all of the Israeli goods from the shelves.[2]

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