Brighton’s Ecostream store closes after two years of concerted campaigning
Brighton’s Ecostream store has closed down after a two year campaign of demonstrations, street actions and direct action.
Ecostream issued the following statement this morning: “SodaStream confirms that the EcoStream store, located on Western Road in Brighton, closed earlier this week. Following the two year test period, the company has decided to focus its business efforts on other channels, specifically on retail distribution partnerships.”
John Lewis have also informed Corporate Watch today that they will no longer be stocking Sodastream products. According to John Lewis’ Senior Press officer: “John Lewis has stocked Sodastream for the past four years but in light of declining sales we’ve taken the decision to no longer stock the range”. Campaigners have demonstrated repeatedly outside John Lewis stores calling for the chain to discontinue its Sodastream range and for consumers to boycott Sodastream products.
Trade Unions at the picket of EcoStream. Picture by Brighton and Hove PSC, May 2014
Members from eight UK trade unions joined the long running weekly picket of SodaStream’s only UK shop, EcoStream in Brighton, on Saturday May 3. Members from The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), National Union of Journalists (NUJ), University and College Union (UCU), National Union of Teachers (NUT), Solidarity Federation (SolFed), Unison, Unite and GMB all showed up to show solidarity with Palestinians workers living under occupation. There were also representatives from Brighton Benefits Campaign and Defend the NHS present. Continue reading
As we have previously reported Corporate Watch was recently denied a requested visit to the SodaStream factory in the illegal West Bank settlement of Mishor Adumim.
Despite the company’s insistence that anyone who visits the premises will find it to be a force for good in the area, it was not willing to let critics challenge this assertion for themselves. In a move that seems to go against its own self proclaimed eco-friendliness SodaStream recently paid the expenses of local Brighton journalist John Keenan when he flew over from the UK to see the factory, yet they would not let researchers already in the West Bank in. Brighton is the location of EcoStream, SodaStream’s first own brand shop in the UK, and it has been met by weekly boycott demonstrations since its opening in the middle of 2012. As part of its PR strategy, SodaStream has also invited the Brighton MP Mike Weatherley to the factory. Weatherley had already previously issued strong worded statements against the protests and in support of SodaStream.
Entrance to the SodaStream factory in the illegal settlement Mishor Adumim.
Posted in Corporate Watch Research Blogs
Tagged Abu al Helweh, Abu al Mihtawish, Abu Dis, Abu Fellah, Anti Corporate Resistance, Companies Working on settlements, East Jerusalem, Ecostream, Histradrut, Hizma, Israeli Companies, Jabba, Kfar Adumim, Khan al Ahmar, Kurshan, Ma'ale Adumim, Mishor Adumim, Ramallah, Settlement Industrial Zones, Sodastream, Workers
SodaStream’s premises in Airport City – Tel Aviv
SodaStream’s factory in the illegal settlement industrial zone of Mishor Adumim
In August 2012 the Israeli carbonated beverage manufacturer SodaStream opened their first own brand shop in the UK. EcoStream, which is owned by SodaStream, is located in Brighton and promotes itself as an eco friendly alternative to bottled drinks. However, SodaStream is far from an ethical company. With their main manufacturing plant being located in the illegal settlement industrial zone Mishor Adumim the company is profiting from the Israeli occupation of the West Bank.
SodaStream has been on the receiving end of an international boycott campaign for a number of years and Palestine solidarity groups have been demonstrating outside the EcoStream shop on a weekly basis since September 2012. These demonstrations have been opposed by Zionist counter demonstrators. SodaStream has always been defensive about its business on occupied territory, claiming it benefits the Palestinians, something which has been disputed at length by activists. Continue reading
Aerial view of Mishor Adumim
During the last four years Corporate Watch have made numerous visits to the settlement industrial zone of Mishor Adumim with the aim of documenting the companies working there. We have also been highlighting the impact the expansion of the illegal settlement of Ma’ale Adumim is having on the Palestinian communities living in the area and tried to contextualise the information to inform international BDS action. One of the biggest companies trading from Mishor Adumim is the Israeli carbonated drinks manufacturers SodaStream. The company has met with pressure from the international BDS movement for a number of years as a result of their occupation profiteering. Continue reading
The latest Israeli offensive in Gaza claimed the lives of 162 Palestinians. Four Israeli civilians and one Israeli soldier have also died as a result of retaliatory rocket attacks. During the evening of Wednesday 21 November a ceasefire was reached but the Israeli siege of Gaza continues.
Hundreds of demonstrations have been held worldwide in solidarity with Gaza and a national demonstration is planned in London on Saturday 24 November. Continue reading
The CEO of Soda Club, an Israeli company with a production facility in the settlement industrial zone of Mishor Adumim, has vowed to stop the protests happening outside its UK shop.
Daniel Birnbaum told local paper The Argus today that the firm will take legal action to clear the protesters from in front of their store.
Ecostream, Soda Club’s store in Brighton has faced biweekly pickets outside its shop in Western Road by supporters of the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against companies complicit in Israeli apartheid, occupation and militarism. These are accompanied by smaller counter demonstrations by a coalition of Zionists and Christian Zionists handing out material from the British Israel Communications and Research Centre (BICOM) and the US based ‘We Stand With Israel’. Continue reading
Sodastream, a carbonated beverage manufacturer is based in the Mishor Adumim settlement industrial zone. Mishor Adumim is an industrial are attached to the residential settlement of Ma’ale Adumim, East of Jerusalem in the Israeli occupied West Bank. Continue reading