Phone or email to complain about Morrison’s suspected mislabelling of Israeli settlement dates as ‘made in Israel’.
08454 04 05 06 Email form
PSC is concerned that Morrison’s may have imported dates as ‘made in Israel’ when these were grown in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory.
What is uncontested by Morrison’s is that despite the fact the goods were labelled as ‘made in Israel’ they were packaged in a settlement in the occupied Palestinian territory. This is of concern to consumers who would not choose to economically support illegal settlement activity.
PSC took this issue up directly with Morrison’s but we are totally dissatisfied with their responses. Their replies lack detail, and fail to say if they have independently investigated this issue, as we requested.
Please ask Trading Standards to:
- Examine and report on Morrison’s investigation into this possible mislabelling
- Audit Morrison’s traceability systems and assess whether they are robust enough to prevent mislabelling of goods from Israeli settlements in the West Bank as ‘made in Israel’
- Publish a report on the issues
- You are complaining on the basis of the DEFRA guidelines, which Morrison’s undertook to follow http://archive.defra.gov.uk/foodfarm/food/pdf/labelling-palestine.pdf
- You are not asking Trading Standards to comment on a political situation but to look at whether Morrison’s have followed the guidelines and whether they have properly, independently investigated this breach
- You are complaining because settlements are a grave violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and morally you do not want to support this trade
In 2009 the UK Government introduced a voluntary labelling guidelines for fresh agricultural produce giving consumers information about whether goods were grown in Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory.
- In January 2013 Corporate Watch obtained labels for Morrisons own brand Medjoul dates from the Israeli settlement of Tomer in the occupied Jordan Valley. The labels were for produce with an expiry date in December 2013 and the store has confirmed that they were produced for dates exported during the last Ramadan season. Full information about this Corporate Watch investigation
- These were labelled ‘made in Israel’ and Morrisons has claimed that the dates were grown in Israel then driven to the illegal settlement of Tomer for packaging and labelling. If these dates were in fact grown nearby (the settlement is very close to date producing areas) then they are misleading consumers by claiming to be Israeli produce. This would also be in breach of Morrison’s declared labelling policy
- The exporter was the Israeli date growers cooperative Hadiklaim. Hadiklaim has a track record of operating inside illegal Israeli settlements and labelling settlement produce ‘Made in Israel’. See links Corporate Watch and Who Profits? information
- Morrison’s claim not to source any goods from the Occupied Palestinian Territories (including the West Bank). They have said “We source produce from the state of Israel and take care to ensure the integrity of origin declarations. We perform random traceability checks to give our customers confidence that food labelled ‘Produce of Israel’ has not been grown in the West Bank.” But they have refused to provide details of how they have investigated this particular issue.
- We are concerned that Morrison’s verification system depends fundamentally on the trustworthiness of its Israeli suppliers, such as Hadiklaim. Such companies have been shown to routinely mislabel produce and participate in Israeli violations of international law.
- A group of public figures including Jean Lambert MEP, Jill Evans MEP, Andy Slaughter MP, Jeremy Corbyn MP wrote to Morrisons to ask: ‘Has Morrisons undertaken an investigation separate to Hadiklaim? Have you asked workers at the factory independently?’
- The reply from Morrison’s was unsatisfactory, and after a further request for a reply all we received on 15th May 2013 was only that: “We believe we have adequately investigated this incident and are satisfied with the quality of the information that has come out of this investigation.“ They gave no details of how they investigated, whether that was an independent investigation, whether they talked to workers, or any further details
Phone or email to complain about Morrison’s possible mislabelling of dates.
08454 04 05 06 Email form
The dates would have been in stores around July.
Morrison’s address is:
Customer Service Department
Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC