Thursday, 16 April 2009

Olive oil and apricots. Where do yours come from?

I love fresh tomatoes and lettuce with olive oil in the salad dressing. My daughter enjoys dried apricots as a snack. If you buy these, watch this video and you'll be prompted to go through your kitchen cupboards and check packets and bottles to make sure the transport and production of them are not harming hard working fruit and veg growers like ourselves.

Added later:
I know readers are interested in this (see the comments below) - so am posting this extract from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign about labelling. Copy follows:

Decisions are being taken in April on the labelling of goods in supermarkets from illegal Israeli settlements - write to Hilary Benn TODAY

Lawyers from the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs the Food Standards Agency (Minister- Hilary Benn) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Minister- David Miliband) are right now drafting new guidelines on how goods from illegal Israeli settlements in the Palestinian Occupied Territories are labelled and sold in the UK. These guidelines are crucial in that they determine how supermarkets label produce form the illegal West Bank settlements.

Feedback from the supermarkets makes it clear that consumer action is having a significant effect on their attitude towards settlement goods. It is therefore urgent that we keep up the pressure on the government during the next 2 weeks. In particular we must pressure the Government to obtain, and publish, an expert legal opinion on whether or not trading with the settlements is itself legal.

Please write immediately to Hilary Benn (Hilary.Benn, copying your letter to your MP, demanding that the labelling of settlement produce clearly indicates its illegal origins. There is a model letter available which includes the postal address. See Palestine Solidarity Campaign


  1. Thanks for that Frances - is there a second part? thankfully we can buy zaytoun oil fairly locally, although I am using cold pressed rape seed oil from the Borders just now. I noticed horrible tesco were selling herbs - some labelled produce of Israel and some labelled West Bank -misleading labelling there as they are both Israeli - and now I realise that the West Bank labelled ones will be stolen :(

  2. Thanks Jacqui. Yes, there is a second part, but haven't put that on (yet) as I didn't know if that would be too much of a mouthful for readers.Interested in your cold pressed seed oil from the Borders...I must say I'm learning a lot about all this just now. Take care now.

  3. Re - Cold pressed seed oil The borderfield oil is only sold at tesco and I am now boycotting them - but you may be interested in this cold pressed rapeseed oil from Northhamptonshire, which may be a it more local to you anyway
    I will write to my mp regarding this.

  4. That's great Jacqui, hope to write more on this, will keep people posted.
    Q. (Frances)

  5. There is increasing awareness of just where our food comes from. Labels and other information don't always make it easy, or even possible to make informed choices. Great work for digging this out. Thank you.

  6. Just to say, there is more on the situation in Palestine right now on my personal website adn blog:


Comments here. Thanks.