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A South African fruit grower is selling dates to an Israeli settler company.

Since writing about Hadiklaim’s business in the Jordan Valley, Corporate Watch has been overwhelmed by questions about boxes of Hadiklaim dates labelled ‘Produce of South Africa’. These dates are sold to Hadiklaim by Karsten Farms, a South African fruit growing group, and then packaged under the Jordan River or Kalahari brandnames and exported to Europe. Read the rest of this entry »

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. Read the rest of this entry »

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. Read the rest of this entry »

Agrexco's Packing House near Kalia

Corporate Watch paid a visit to Agrexco’s packing house on the land of the illegal settlement of Kibbutz Kalia, on the Northern Coast of the Dead Sea, during April 2010. The packing house is next to fields of date palms. Thai migrant workers could be seen tending to the palms from cherypickers. Inside the packing house herbs were being packed into boxes marked ‘Carmel ECOFRESH: Produce of Kibbutz Kalia, USA’. ECOFRESH is one of Agrexco’s newer brands which is supposed to represent better food quality (see, for example, http://www.thegrocer.co.uk/articles.aspx?page=articles&ID=52941). Workers inside told us that the herbs were being exported to the US. Read the rest of this entry »

Existing Jordan Plains packing house next to the new structure

Last week Corporate Watch revisited the building site for a new packing house on the land of the Arovot HaYarden Regional Council close to Massua settlement in the occupied Jordan Valley. Workers at the site confirmed that the building will be a new date refrigeration house for Jordan Plains. Jordan Plains is a company exporting through Carmel Agrexco.

The construction of the new packing house, on illegally occupied territory, suggests that Agrexco and Jordan Plains intend to extend their export capacity for dates. Palestinians in the area are unable to build any permanent structures at all due to military restrictions, let alone one on this scale. Read the rest of this entry »

Field Produce in the Jordan Valley

Field Produce Dates on sale in Jerusalem

Field Produce, an Israeli date exporter, have several packing house in the occupied Jordan Valley

For more info on Field produce click here

In our last News Update, on 5th January 2010, we published an open letter to multinational fruit exporter Fyffes on the subject of trade with Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. Corporate Watch had been supplied with a photo of boxes of dates bearing the Fyffes logo inside a packing house in the settlement of Tomer. Read the rest of this entry »

The Christmas period is one of the busiest times of the year for date importers. Tonnes of dates are imported into the UK from illegal Israeli agricultural settlements on Palestinian land. Campaigners have been focusing on Israeli companies, such as Carmel Agrexco, importing these dates into the UK but little is known about Fyffes, a transnational company that has also sourced dates from Israeli settlements.

Read the rest of this entry »

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