Statement on the block of Palestinian products bound for export.
As a UK business which imports Palestinian produce, we are extremely concerned at the news over the weekend that Israel has imposed increased travel restrictions on trucks carrying Palestinian agricultural products bound for export.
With over 15 years’ experience of trading with Palestine, we know our suppliers and their situation well. We have been talking to them over the weekend, and they are hoping that this disruption will be temporary. However if it does continue, we will be asking the British government for guidance and support to ensure the Israeli blocks do not disrupt the growing trade between the UK and Palestine.
During 2019, Zaytoun made sales of nearly £1.5 million to UK wholesalers and retailers. This year we expect to import and sell similar quantities of Palestinian produce, and nearly 25% of these sales are dependent on shipments of Medjoul dates arriving in time to be sold and distributed ahead of Ramadan. It is therefore imperative that trading blocks are removed to ensure we can fulfil our UK customers’ orders.
We founded Zaytoun as a social enterprise in 2004; inspired by Palestinian olive farmers who did not have fair market access for their high quality produce. Closing of borders denies 100’s of thousands of farming families livelihood opportunity to export markets, this is especially worrying in the context of an already fragile economy.
In two weeks’ time, a guest speaker from the Palestine Fair Trade Association will be speaking at events around the UK during Fairtrade Fortnight. This is an opportunity for people to come along and find out for themselves about daily life for Palestinians. For a list of events, please see our news page at www.zaytoun.org/news
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