Monday, March 29, 2010

Trader Joe and the BDS movement

Hi, All,
If Greenpeace can do this, perhaps we can get a BDS movement working to influence Trader Joe's stores to boycott produce and foods grown in Israel and by Israel in Occupied Palestinian Territories -- H
Traitor Joe here. I'm greening up my act to save the oceans. I know you probably think this is another one of my sneaky scams, but I swear it's true. You really can teach an old pirate new tricks.

You see, for months Greenpeace publicly pressured Trader Joe's supermarkets to adopt sustainable seafood purchasing policies throughout all of their stores in order to help save the oceans. The store ranked 17 out of the 20 when Greenpeace evaluated their seafood polices along with other supermarkets. It was clear, Trader Joe’s needed to do better.

After months of hearing from activists and shoppers like you about how important it is to stop destroying oceans for profit, Trader Joe's finally turned over a new barnacle.

I’ve publicly announced that Trader Joe’s stores will remove red-listed seafood, implement a sustainable seafood policy, and work with third-party, science-based organizations to establish strong, lasting guidelines for ocean protection throughout our entire seafood operation.

I'e seen the light! And, it's all thanks to YOU for getting in my face and exposing my bad habits. I'm finally doing my part to help save the oceans with my seafood purchasing policies. Tell Trader Joe's that you're happy they've done the right thing by sending them a thank you note. If you do, it'll bring a ray of sunshine to this rusty ole' pirate.

At the Waldorf

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Israeli Products Made in the Occupied West Bank

Entire article:

...Some Israeli firms brag openly about how they can sell goods from the settlements abroad without paying duties. Cosmetics-maker Ahava uses Dead Sea mud extracted from the occupied Jordan Valley in its products. When quizzed about this by the BBC, the company's representatives admitted that they give the address of their headquarters and not the site of production when exporting. Thus, they can avail -- fraudulently -- EU preferences.

The relaxed attitude of civil servants to how European and international law is being flouted by Israel -- Britain's 2008 initiative notwithstanding -- is in stark contrast to the courage displayed by numerous ordinary people. Supermarkets in several EU countries have been flooded with complaints from customers outraged at how they are stocking herbs or oranges from illegal settlements.

In response to this burgeoning grassroots awareness, Britain's Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has published recommendations to retailers on how to differentiate between food originating from Israeli settlements, that from within Israel, and that grown by Palestinian farmers (several anti-poverty organizations sell Palestinian olive oil and other produce using a "Fair Trade" label). The interpretation of these recommendations has meant that shoppers can encounter confusing and clumsily-phrased notices while searching for groceries. The Morrisons supermarket chain has displayed the following instructions beside its stocks of "Best Medjool" dates: "Please note product labeled 'Produce of Jordon [sic] Valley' is produced in the West Bank (Israeli settlement) and produce of Israel is not from the occupied territories."

Betty Hunter from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign described the guidance to retailers as "absolutely inadequate" as she believes that no goods from Israeli settlements should be sold in Europe, regardless of whether they have been subject to customs duties. Activists from her group plan to attend the annual shareholder meetings of Britain's main supermarkets later this year and to advocate a complete ban on such goods. (The campaign is also committed to a wider boycott of Israeli goods.)

John Hilary, director of the organization War on Want, concurs. "It is quite clear that the settlements are illegal under international law," he said. "For us, there is no justification for goods from the settlements to be allowed in any European country at all."


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