All major supermarkets stock Israeli goods, with many also offering items made in illegal settlements. We aim to highlight this, calling on shoppers to boycott these products and on retailers to refuse to stock them.
There is growing concern in Israel at the impact the international campaign is having, with press reporting that Israeli producers are experiencing a decline in international demand in the aftermath of the bombardment of Gaza in January 2009.
A range of campaigning methods have targetted Israeli goods in supermarkets, from stalls and petitioning outside to activists re-labeling the items or filling their trollies with Israeli products and then refusing to pay.
Sainsbury’s has said, in correspondence with Boycott Israeli Goods Campaign supporters, that the store is not a political organisation and it does not boycott products from any country. Sainsbury’s does acknowledge, however, that “ethical trading is a growing area of concern for our company and consumers” and that it has an “ethical trading policy.” Whether ethical trading concerns would extend to the sale of goods from an apartheid regime on occupied land, that’s not something the retailer seems interested in answering.
Palestine solidarity campaigners have attended Sainsbury’s PLC shareholders meeting several years running, in an attempt to persuade the company to stop selling Israeli goods and to label its produce more accurately.
Sainsbury’s says it is committed to ‘informative labelling’, despite describing one piece of produce as being from ‘Gaza Strip, Israel’. After the 2007 ITN report about mislabelling of settlement Medjoul dates as ‘Produce of Israel’, Sainsbury’s admitted that it had mislabelled produce and stated that “as from today, all dates from the West Bank will be labelled as coming from the West Bank. We are investigating how this error occurred.”
Sainsburys have been picketed across the UK by campaigners calling for a boycott of Israeli goods.