Co-op boycotts exports from Israel’s West Bank settlements

by Richard on April 29, 2012

The Observer reports

The Co-operative Group has become the first major European supermarket group to end trade with companies that export produce from illegal Israeli settlements.

The UK’s fifth biggest food retailer and its largest mutual business, the Co-op took the step as an extension of its existing policy which had been not to source produce from illegal settlements that have been built on Palestinian territories in the West bank.

Now the retail and insurance giant has taken it one step further by “no longer engaging with any supplier of produce known to be sourcing from the Israeli settlements”.

The decision will hit four companies and contracts worth some £350,000. But the Co-op stresses this is not an Israeli boycott and that its contracts will go to other companies inside Israel that can guarantee they don’t export from illegal settlements.

Welcoming the move, Palestinian human rights campaigners said it was the first time a supermarket anywhere in the west had taken such a position.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }


Ric 04.30.12 at 8:38 am

Under the brand name ‘Coral’ Palestinian Arabs export to the rest of the world exclusively through Agrexco. So through this blunt instrument the Co-Op is also boycotting their produce - including that of Gaza!


Richard 04.30.12 at 9:12 am

It’s true. Boycotts are blunt instruments. Mind you, I’m reluctant to simply take EoZ’s word for the effect of the co-op’s action: it isn’t exactly an unbiassed source of news. And I’m not entirely convinced by their commitment to the welfare of Palestinian’s living in the area of illegal Israeli settlements.

I’m reminded via Twitter that the argument that boycotts would only hurt the poor were also used by Reagan and Thatcher about the boycott of South African goods in the days of apartheid.

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