Tag Archives: Settlement Industrial Zones

Ecostream campaign victorious

Brighton's Ecostream store closes after two years of concerted campaigning

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.

Continue reading

Oxfam’s PR firm helping to greenwash Sodastream

Sodastream's factory in the illegal Israeli settlement of Mishor Adunim - Photo take by Corporate Watch, 2010

Sodastream’s factory in the illegal Israeli settlement of Mishor Adunim – Photo taken by Corporate Watch, 2010

UPDATE 09/04/2014 – Response from Oxfam America: Oxfam claims that Fenton does not do any work for SodaStream at this time. It had a one-year relationship with the company that ended in 2012. Oxfam did not begin to work with Fenton until 2013.” Since this article was written Fenton Communications have removed the Sodasteam logo from their website.

If Fenton’s relationship with Sodastream ended in 2012 it begs the question: why was the Sodastream logo listed on the company website last week?

Here is the original article:

There has been a lot of negative media attention in the last few months on Sodastream, an Israeli fizzy drinks company with a factory in the illegal Israeli settlement of Mishor Adumim. A partnership between Oxfam and Scarlett Johansson ended recently after an international campaign put pressure on the charity to end its relationship with Johansson because she was undertaking ongoing work for Sodastream.

However, a high profile US public relations (PR) firm, which boasts of its “ethical business practices”, is providing services to both Sodastream and Oxfam America. Fenton Communications states on its site that “We do not take on clients that we do not believe in ourselves” and claims that it works “for companies and foundations advocating social change”. Fenton’s corporate social responsibility rhetoric and greenwash doesn’t bear more than a few minutes of scrutiny. The PR firm has a client list which includes large multinationals such as General Mills and Unilever. General Mills jointly own the General Mills (Pillsbury) plant in the Atarot settlement Industrial zone, while Unilever only pulled out of the Barkan settlement industrial zone after years of pressure from the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. Both companies are also responsible for selling, marketing and lobbying hard for processed foods globally, which are damaging to people’s health. One of Fenton’s other clients is Oxfam America.

In response to the public campaign about Scarlett Johansson, Oxfam stated: “While Oxfam respects the independence of our ambassadors, Ms. Johansson’s role promoting the company SodaStream is incompatible with her role as an Oxfam Global Ambassador… Oxfam is opposed to all trade from Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law.” Why then does Oxfam America find it acceptable to work with a PR firm that includes Sodastream on its client list? Continue reading

“They destroyed our lives and then gave a few people a job. It is nothing”: Some unanswered questions for SodaStream

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.

Soda Club 10

Entrance to the SodaStream factory in the illegal settlement Mishor Adumim.

Continue reading

Settlement expansion in the Mishor Adumim industrial zone

IMG_2127

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

Open Letter to B&Q: Stocking Keter products supports the occupation

hebron-etc-426Since April 2012 Corporate Watch, and campaigners from the Brighton and Hove Palestine Solidarity Campaign, have been in correspondence with B&Q over its sale of products manufactured by Keter Plastics, an Israeli company with a global reach which has a factory in the illegal Barkan settlement industrial zone in the occupied West Bank. Continue reading

Open Letter to B&Q: Stocking Keter products supports the occupation

hebron-etc-426Since April 2012 Corporate Watch, and campaigners from the Brighton and Hove Palestine Solidarity Campaign, have been in correspondence with B&Q over its sale of products manufactured by Keter Plastics, an Israeli company with a global reach which has a factory in the illegal Barkan settlement industrial zone in the occupied West Bank. Continue reading

Israeli Apartheid profiteer Sodastream plans new store in Brighton

Israeli company Soda Club, which owns the Sodastream brandname, is reportedly planning to open a store in Brighton. Continue reading

Dear Corporation: B&Q and illegal Israeli settlements


Corporate Watch recently wrote to B&Q concerning the supply of goods manufactured by companies that work out of illegal Israeli settlements in the Palestinian West Bank. The open letter to B&Q, reproduced below, asked for clarification of whether the store will cease its supply of Keter Plastics products.

In January this year, activists held a protest against the sale of garden sheds made by Keter Plastics, an Israeli company that has a factory in the Barkan settlement industrial zone in the West Bank.

Since then B&Q has pledged, in correspondence with Palestine solidarity campaigners, not to sell products “sourced from conflict zones and/or occupied territories”. However, it remains unclear whether this means that B&Q will discontinue the sale of Keter products, some of which are manufactured outside Israel.

Israeli settlements in the West Bank are established on land taken from Palestinian civilians by military force. The settlements are illegal under international law and their illegality is recognised by British Foreign Office policy, which states that the settlements are an “obstacle to peace”.

Barkan, attached to the residential settlement of Ariel, was established in 1982 on the land of the Palestinian villages of Haris, Bruqin and Sarta. The industrial zone hosts a disproportionate number of factories that pollute the environment. For example, waste from Barkan runs down the hillside of the Al-Matwi valley, damaging Palestinian farmland. Palestinian labourers are employed in the industrial zone and are paid, in several documented instances, below the minimum wage and denied the right to unionise.

In the above-mentioned letter to campaigners, Terry Anne Rowland of B&Q’s Customer Care Team said: “we will work with our suppliers to identify which, if any, products are manufactured in countries associated with conflict/occupation (eg Afghanistan/Israel) and seek confirmation that the product has not, at any stage been made by a company operating in a conflict zone or occupied territories. We will put in place exit strategies for the product and/or supplier where progress to our aim, over a defined period, is not achieved.”

Corporate Watch welcomes the sentiments expressed in the letter but would like to clarify whether this statement means that B&Q will no longer deal with Keter Plastics.

Regards

Corporate Watch

Ma’ale Efraim: Impertec Industries

Impertec Supergum in Maale Efraim

Impertec/Supergum Industries - One of the companies in Ma’ale Efraim is Impertec ‘Supergum’.

Impertec is part of the ‘Supergum Group’. Impertec and Supergum are sister companies with the same owners.  Impertec manufactures gas masks, riot gear and rubber extrusions. Supergum manufacture rubber, plastic and sealing products. Both product ranges have military applications Continue reading

Some notes from Maale Efraim Industrial Zone

Corporate Watch visited the Ma’ale Efraim industrial zone during May 2010. Ma’ale Efraim is the only industrial zone in the Jordan Valley, situated on the road to Nablus. The industrial area is attached to the settlement of Ma’ale Efraim, an illegal settlement home to 1641 colonisers.

Ma’ale Efraim was established as a military  settlement in 1978 on land seized by military order. The settlement was civilianized in 1979 and further land was seized as ‘state’ land. To the West of the settlement is an IDF military base.

Ma’ale Efraim industrial zone is largely dormant, a holding exercise to monopolise the land. Many of the factory buildings are empty. However a few Palestinian workers were working in the warehouses.

Sign at the entrance to Maale Efraim Industrial Zone

The above sign shows some of the businesses and type of business working in Maale Efraim:

“Maale Efrayim Industrial Zone,
1 -  Administration, Fior, Karabian Woodshop, Ami Koren – Food Marketing, Raphi Cohen, Fuller Strapping Products, Avia Printing, Radio Mars, Peer Israel
2 Brom, GBIG, Aqua Print
3 Jordan Valley Productions, Steel Mills, B. erushalmi, SuperGum, Center Gas, Metuman 2000, Tel Bar
4 Faber Bros, Cactus Plantation
also - Meir Moving, General and Crane Haulage, Apartment Removals, Moran Professional Cleaning Equipment” 

The logos displayed in the middle section read – “Maale Efrayim and Jordan Valley Industrial Area Administration, State of Israel, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Jewish Agency Settlement Department, Maale Efrayim Local Council, Jordan Valley Regional Council”

Impertec Supergum in Maale Efraim

Moran Professional Cleaning Equipment van in Maale Efraim settlement industrial zone