December 1, 2015

Despite BDS and Boycotts, Israel’s Food Industry Continues to Grow

Tel Aviv - It would seem that with all the rancor over the EU “boycott” of food products manufactured over the Green Line and the BDS (Boycott, Divestiture and Sanctions) movement that Israel’s food industry would suffer the most but instead, sources told Kosher Today, it is projecting double-digit growth in 2015. The decision by the European Union to require labeling of products manufactured over the Green Line, , is not having much traction. The EU denies that it is a boycott, saying that its guidelines left the decision regarding placing consumer labels on products to member states. Labeling is mandatory, the commission said, for fresh fruit, vegetables, wine, honey, olive oil, eggs, poultry, organic produce and cosmetics. For packaged food and other products, it is voluntary, unless its omission misleads the consumer into believing that the product was produced in Israel. The commission noted that this designation “shall not be construed as recognition of a state of Palestine. The United Kingdom, Denmark and Brussels already place consumer labels on products from over the pre-1967 lines. Despite the EU’s argument that consumers have a right to know where the products are manufactured, European distributors say that few consumers are actually concerned with the designation.

One source told KosherToday that Tesco, considered a kosher friendly chain in the UK, cancelled an order for figs produced over the green line, only to find that it could not locate another source, prompting Tesco to reorder the figs. But to its dismay it learned that the figs had already been sold to another country.