Charity accuses Waitrose over Israeli goods

By staff writers
24 Apr 2010

The anti-poverty charity War on Want has accused the supermarket retailer Waitrose of misleading customers in its claims to have ceased stocking goods from illegal Israeli settlements.

In recent months, Waitrose has faced complaints and protests from people across the UK about its continued sale of goods from Israeli settlements, which are ruled illegal under international law.

In a statement to War on Want, the supermarket chain branded “untrue” the charity’s allegation that Waitrose stocked goods from settlements, and asked War on Want to publicise the statement to its members.

This came after campaigners from the charity and other activists protested at the retailer’s Barbican store in London and demanded an end to sales of settlement goods.

But investigations by War on Want have found Waitrose continues to sell settlement goods.

These include three types of halva from the company Achva, all of which are clearly labelled as produced in the Barkan settlement in the West Bank.

War on Want executive director John Hilary said: "It is unacceptable for Waitrose to stock products from illegal Israeli settlements. This makes it complicit in the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. Waitrose should live up to its ethical claims and stop stocking any goods from illegal Israeli settlements or it will continue to face protests."

The criticism from War on Want comes only four months after the UK government introduced voluntary guidance on the labelling of fresh produce from settlements.

Waitrose states that it has stopped sourcing herbs from Israeli settlements under its own brand label. War on Want welcomes this move, but urges Waitrose to stop the sale of all settlement products immediately.

[Ekk/2]

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