Mehadrin's business in Beqa'ot settlement – and Tesco's Complicity

Settler greenhouses in Beqa'ot

Beqa’ot is an illegal settlement located in the Jordan Valley. Established in 1972, it is agriculturally focused and controls around 1800 dunums of land which were stolen from surrounding Palestinian areas, such as the Bedouin community of Al Hadidya. Beqa’ot is a grower for the Israeli company Mehadrin Tnuport Export (MTEX), a part of the huge Mehadrin Group which also owns 50% of STM Agricultural Exports Ltd -another Israeli company dealing in vegetables. MTEX export around 70% of all their produce to outside Israel and are one of the largest suppliers for the Jaffa brand world wide. According to Palestinian workers in the settlement, Mehadrin has had a monopoly on exports from there for around two years. Before that they also used to work with Carmel Agrexco. Some Arava boxes were also spotted inside the settlement packing area. (more…)

Profiting from the Occupation: Supermarkets – Tesco

Tesco stores stock a large amount of produce grown in the Occupied Territories and purchased from the Israeli state, including fruit and vegetables from producer Carmel-Agrexco. Israeli products stocked by Tesco include fruit juice, mangoes, avocados, grapes, stonefruit, dates,herbs, pickled cucumbers, Exquisa potatoes, mixed peppers (from Israel and a second country of origin), Barkan wine, Yarden wine, biscuits, cold meat, dips, Osem soups and cakes, snacks by Beigel & Beigel, Telma (soup mixes and cubes, noodles etc) and socks (Tesco’s own brand). Tesco sells products from illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank, many of which are exported by Carmel Agrexco. The company admitted sourcing ‘a number of products’ from illegal settlements, including avocados, herbs, grapes and stonefruit, such as peaches, from farms in the West Bank and Golan Heights. In 2006 War on Want reported that Tesco sells Beigel and Beigel products sourced from the settlements. Tesco also sells gas cylinders for products made by settlement company Soda Club, and repackages settlement dates from Hadiklaim as Tesco own brand dates. Mehadrin-Tnuport Export Company (MTex) supplies Tesco with settlement citrus fruit and there are links between Tesco and the Arava settlement company. In October 2007, a group of campaigners from the Brighton Tubas Friendship and Solidarity Group entered Tomer settlement in the occupied Jordan Valley and photographed medjoul dates, packaged by Carmel Agrexco, labelled ‘Made in Israel’ and marked as bound for Tesco stores. (more…)

Grapefruit supplied by Israeli company Mehadrin on sale in Lidl. Photo by Corporate Occupation May 2019

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

Here are the references for our 2020 update to Apartheid in the Fields P3. Introduction P4. The ongoing ethnic cleansing of the Jordan Valley See, for example, Corporate Occupation has interviewed multiple Jordan Valley residents who were forced […]

Sainsburys logo

Apartheid in the Fields: From Occupied Palestine to UK Supermarkets (2020 Update), Part 7.7: Sainsburys

Like its competitor Tesco, Sainsbury’s has previously sold produce that the supermarket knew was from illegal West Bank settlements. It continues tostock produce from Mehadrin. In 2008 activists took photographs of Sainsbury’s ‘SO Organic’ and ‘Taste the Difference’ Medjoul dates clearly labelled ‘Grown in West Bank’ inside the Jordan Valley […]

Apartheid in the Fields: From Occupied Palestine to UK Supermarkets (2020 Update), 3.5: Hadiklaim

Hadiklaim date growers’ co-operative is Israel’s number one exporter ofMedjoul dates,[1] and one of the top global exporters.[2] The cooperative controls the King Solomon Dates and Jordan River brands.[3] Both brandsexport dates from the settlements in the Israeli occupied Jordan Valley.In 2017, Hadiklaim’s Yaniv Cohen told industry website Fresh Plaza […]

Apartheid in the Fields: From Occupied Palestine to UK Supermarkets (2020 Update), 3.3 Miriam Shoham

Miriam Shoham is an Israeli company, 50% owned by Mehadrin. In October2019, we photographed the company’s mangoes being sold in Aldi supermarket in the UK. According to the Palestinian/Israeli research centreWhoProfits?, Miriam Shoham’s mango packing house is located in theoccupied Golan Heights.[1] In January 2020 we also photographed Shoham pomegranates […]