Labels manufactured for packaging Morrisons own brand Medjoul dates found in the illegal Israeli settlement of Tomer
On February 9th a coalition of civil society groups has called for an international day of action against Israeli agricultural companies in line with the movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israeli militarism, apartheid and colonisation. Corporate Watch researchers are in Palestine collecting new information and over the coming weeks Corporate Watch will be writing a series of articles and blogs examining Israeli agricultural exports.
In January 2013 Corporate Watch obtained labels for Morrisons own brand Medjoul dates from the Israeli settlement of Tomer in the occupied Jordan Valley. The labels were for produce with an expiry date in December 2012 and the store has confirmed that they were produced for dates exported during the last Ramadan season. The exporter was the Israeli date growers cooperative Hadiklaim (see here). Continue reading
Posted in Agriculture
Tagged Agriculture, Dates, Farming Injustice, Hadiklaim, Jordan Valley, Karsten, Ramadan, South Africa, Supermarkets/Retail, Tomer, UK
A Mehadrin sign with a Jaffa logo on it in fields used by Massua settlement
On February 9th a coalition of civil society groups have called for an international day of action against Israeli agricultural companies in line with the movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israeli militarism, apartheid and colonisation. Corporate Watch researchers are in Palestine collecting new information and over the coming weeks Corporate Watch will be writing a series of articles and blogs examining Israeli agricultural exports.
On 28th January 2o13 Corporate Watch photographed a Mehadrin sign bearing the logo of the Jaffa brand on land which had been fenced off by the Massua settlement close to the Palestinian community of Abu Al Ajaj.
Posted in Corporate Watch Research Blogs
Tagged Abu al Ajaj, Area C, Home Demolitions, Jaffa, Jordan Valley, Massua, Mehadrin, Retail, Sainsburys, Supermarkets/Retail, Tesco
- Grape fields in the illegal Israeli settlement Beqa’ot in the occupied Jordan Valley
Two and a half years ago Corporate Watch visited the illegal Israeli settlement Beqa’ot
in the Jordan Valley
, where we found packing houses belonging to the agricultural exporter Mehadrin Tnuport Export Company (MTEX). The produce being prepared for export was mislabeled as ‘produce of Israel’ despite being from the occupied West Bank. As we exposed at the time, Mehadrin produce is sold through Tesco stores in the UK
. Last week we made another visit to the settlement to find out whether recent developments in UK and Israel has had an effect on the conduct of the company.
Posted in Agriculture, Corporate Watch Research Blogs
Tagged Adafresh, Agrexco, Agriculture, Arava, Be'erot Yitzhaq, Beqa'ot, Companies Working on settlements, Farming Injustice, Israeli Companies, Jordan Valley, Mehadrin, Mislabelling, Supermarkets/Retail, Tesco, The Co Op
Hadiklaim is an Israeli date growers cooperative which deals with several major supermarkets in the UK, including Sainsburys, Marks and Spencer, Tesco and Waitrose (although the Co Op and Marks and Spencer maintain that they only stock Hadiklaim products from 1948 Israel). The company boasts that it exports to 30 countries (see http://www.hadiklaim.com/company_customers.asp). Tesco and Marks and Spencer branded dates are Hadiklaim produce.
The Hadiklaim cooperative includes date growers from 1948 Israel, mostly the South, and from the settlements in the occupied Jordan Valley. Hadiklaim’s website portrays the company as one which deals only with 1948 Israel; listing growers in Beit Shean, the Kinneret, the Arava, Eilat and (ambiguosly)’the Dead Sea region’. However, the company also exports from the Israels settlements in the Jordan Valley. Hadiklaim’s statements in the Israeli Hebrew language media are markedly different – the companies CEO has stated in YNet that the occupied Jordan Valley is an important area for Hadiklaim. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
Burger King has announced that it plans to pull out of the 55 branches of its Israeli franchise
Burger Ranch currently operates 107 resteraunts in Israel, including several based in illlegal settlements:
Burger Ranch logo in the illegal settlement of Ma'ale Adumim near Jerusalem
Burger Ranch in the illegal settlement of Katzerin in the Israeli occupied Golan Heights
Burger Ranch is owned in Israel by Orgad Holdings.
A Waitrose in South Woodford, north-east London, unwittingly played host to a group of demonstrators from Waltham Forest Palestine Solidarity Campaign (WFPSC) and Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods (J-BIG) on 7th November. The campaigners were protesting against Waitrose’s policy of stocking illegal settlement produce. After Waitrose, protesters emerged at Morrisons in Chingford, where they stickered some Israeli-produced citrus fruit and dates with boycott slogans. The actions were part of a ‘week of supermarket boycott action’ in protest against supermarkets stocking Israeli goods, the sales of which fund the Israeli apartheid system of oppression and occupation in Palestine.
Agrexco Agricultural Export Company Ltd. markets most of Israel’s exports of fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers, some of which are grown in illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
In a court case in November of 2004, the General Manager of Agrexco UK at that time, Amos Orr, testified that Agrexco markets 60-70% of the agricultural produce grown in Israeli settlements in the occupied territories.
Agrexco is worth half a billion Shekels (nearly £78m) and employs about 500 people. 50% of the company’s shares are owned by the Israeli government, although a ministerial committee last year decided to privatise it . Agrexco’s biggest fresh agricultural produce brand is Carmel. Other brand names include Jaffa and Jordan Plains. The company’s subsidiaries include Agrexco (France), Agrexco (US), Carmexco (Italy), Eclectic, Carmel Cor, LACHS and Dalia (Germany). For more information on Agrexco, see www.bigcampaign.org/index.php?page=who_exports_israeli_goods.
British supermarkets account for 60% of Carmel-Agrexco’s total exports. The company supplies Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Marks & Spencer, Waitrose as well as discounters Lidl and Aldi. Carmel-Agrexco has been the focus of anti-occupation protests and actions. The company’s depot in Swallowfield Way in Hayes, Middlesex, has repeatedly been shut down by protesters
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. Continue reading
On the second big Gaza solidarity march in London on 10th January, angry protesters smashed the front of a Starbucks store on Kensington High St, near the Israeli embassy, while other activists occupied the Ahava beauty shop in central London.
Other actions in protest at the Israeli massacre in Gaza that month included occupying the offices of the British Israel Communications and Research Centre (BICOM) in central London, ‘decommissioning’ the ITT/EDO arms factory in Brighton and university occupations across the country calling for divestment. So, who are these companies and why are they being targeted by protesters and campaigners?
Corporate Watch takes a detailed look.
Posted in Corporate Watch Briefings
Tagged Africa Israel, Agrexco, Agriculture, Ahava, Anti Corporate Resistance, Arms Companies, BAE Systems, BICOM, Boeing, British Gas, Companies Promoting Israel, Companies Working on settlements, Dead Sea, EDO/ITT, Housing, International Companies in Palestine, Israeli Companies, Leviev, Lockheed Martin, Marks and Spencer, Media, Oil and Gas, Raytheon, Sainsburys, Starbucks, Supermarkets/Retail, The Co Op, UAV Engines, UAVs, Waitrose