International Call to Action Against Agrexco
1 February 2009 to 14 February 2009
The Boycott Israeli Goods Campaign is issuing an international call to action against Carmel-Agrexco this February.
Carmel-Agrexco is the Israeli national exporter of fruit and vegetables and imports large quantities of goods from illegal Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land.
Israeli settlements and the military occupation make life impossible for Palestinians living in the West Bank. Palestinians in the occupied Jordan Valley, where the majority of Carmel Agrexco’s settlement produce comes from, are forced to live in tents and shacks due to building restrictions imposed by the Israeli military authorities. Entire communities live under threat of forced evictions and house demolitions as Israel confiscates more and more lands to annex for the benefit of the settlements. Palestinian farmers are unable to access local or international markets due to Israeli restrictions on movement. Landless Palestinians are forced to work for Carmel-Agrexco, who own packing houses on every major settlement in the valley, receiving poverty wages and with no rights.
Carmel-Agrexco boast that they can put goods on European supermarket shelves within ten hours and export over half theiir produce to the European market.
The Valentine’s day period leading up to February 14th is one of Agrexco’s busiest times of year. Tonnes of cut flowers are exported to European markets to be given as gifts on Valentine’s Day. The Boycott Israeli Goods Campaign is calling on campaigners across Europe to hold actions against the company in the weeks preceding February 14th.
There is a growing campaign against Carmel-Agrexco in the UK. Since 2004 campaigners have been taking direct action against Agrexco’s main packing house in Hayes, Middlesex. In November 2004 seven campaigners blockaded the depot, using metal fencing, for over eleven hours. The ensuing prosecution of the blockaders failed after campaigners argued Agrexco were ancillary to war crimes under the International Criminal Court Act 2001. Since then dozens of blockades have occurred each year, Carmel’s offices have been trashed and their depot occupied. The company has not been willing to take prosecutions against campaigners for fear of having their business practices exposed in court.
Last year actions against Agrexco took place in the UK and Belgium on Valentine’s day.
This Valentine’s Day the Boycott Israeli Goods Campaign is calling for groups across Europe to join the movement to disrupt Agrexco imports into Europe.
Specifically we are calling for demonstrations, blockades and direct action at:
· Agrexco depots
· Stores selling Agrexco produce
· Premises of Agrexco Shareholders