Morrison’s supermarket have failed to address whether they have independently investigated the source of dates, after concerns were raised that they may have been grown and were certainly packaged in an illegal Israeli settlement. The dates were labelled ‘made in Israel’. This follows Corporate Watch’s discovery of discarded Morrison’s labels for ‘made in Israel dates’ in January this year. The packaging was found in the illegal settlement of Tomer, in the illegally occupied Jordan Valley where many dates are grown for export.
The Chief Executive Officer, Dalton Phillips, was asked by Andy Slaughter and Jeremy Corbyn MPs, MEPs Jill Evans and Jean Lambert, along with trade unionists, PSC patrons and campaign leaders:
- Has Morrisons undertaken an investigation separate to Hadiklaim? Have you asked workers at the factory independently?
Did Morrisons pay duty on the mislabelled produce to HM Revenue and Customs at the time. If not will it do so? How much duty does it owe?
Failing to address either of these points, Morrison’s replied that:
“Morrisons does not source any goods from the Occupied Palestinian Territories (including the West Bank). 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.”
Morrisons earlier claimed that produce was simply being packed there. But the signatories of the letter have countered that there are no date-growing areas inside Israel which are close to Tomer – whilst there are many illegal Israeli settlements nearby which do produce dates. Additionally, any activity in Tomer settlement, at whatever stage of the food chain, allows money spent by consumers in Britain to flow to this illegal settlement.
PSC and other campaigners will continue to press Morrison’s until they fully investigate the provenance of their dates and resolve to stop packing products in illegal settlements.
Notes for editor