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UK: Co-op boycotts Israeli West Bank produce

Britain's fifth largest retailer, the Co-operative Group, has become the first major European retailer to cease purchases of produce exported from Israeli settlements East of the Green Line.

The group has stated that is ceased purchasing from the region back in 2009, but has until now continued to trade with 20 companies in Israel that sell produce from the settlements.

The largest Israeli agricultural export companies affected by this move are Agrexco, Arava Export Growers, Adafresh and Mehadrin.

The Co-op has also said that it will continue to actively seek increased trade links with Palestinian businesses in the territories.

The announcement was made over the weekend and the co-op said that they would be ending purchases from four companies, with sales worth £350,000, after a supply chain audit found that produce was likely to have been produced in the region.

Boycotting campaigns such as this one have been regularly denounced by Israel and attempt to "delegitimise" the state. The Co-op has refuted that it is involved in anything like this and says it is not boycotting Israeli produce and will continue to purchase Israel grown foods from outside what it considers to be occupied territories.

Source: www.jewishpress.com; www.guardian.co.uk

Publication date: 5/1/2012


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