Please find below some email correspondence with the coop about their stocking goods from Israel:
Thank you for your enquiry about the Co-operative’s stance on stocking products sourced from Israel.
We view developments in Israel with some concern, sharing those of many others. In general though, it is not our policy to support boycotts because of the adverse impact they can have on individuals and communities not directly involved and in the case of Israel, the many Palestinian workers dependent on the Israeli economy.
Therefore we continue to trade with Israel, mainly sourcing fresh produce to provide a continuity of high-quality product and to maintain year round supplies. However, labelling to ensure that our customers have the information necessary to enable them to make an informed purchasing choice, is a key aspect of our Responsible Retailing policy, which includes clearly indicating the country of origin on pack. All Co-operative brand products are clearly labelled with the country of origin. Additionally all suppliers of own brand products are included within the scope of our sound sourcing programme; this addresses workplace issues including fair treatment and discrimination, complementing the broader political dialogue in the region.
The Co-operative does not source any own brand primary produce from illegal West Bank settlements. All Co-operative brand suppliers are aware of our position on the occupied territories and have given us an undertaking that any products supplied to us by them are not sourced from this region.
In addition, we carry out traceability audits to confirm product origins on an ongoing basis. We have also contracted an external third party body to verify the accuracy of sourcing statements from our supply base.
However, we do recognise that there may be some legitimate Palestinian-owned businesses which want to export their products to the UK market. The measures which are outlined above, by which the integrity of our supplies can be confirmed, enable them to do this in a way which ensures their legitimacy.
On this point, I am pleased to confirm that The Co-operative has introduced to the UK the first Fairtrade Mark product to come out of Palestine – a Fairtrade olive oil. We were the first UK supermarket to list this unique product.
I trust that this information has helped to clarify our position on these matters, and would like to thank you once again for the interest you have shown in our activities.
The Fairtrade bananas can be stocked by any store. However, this will be determined by supply and demand.
Do not hesitate to contact me directly on our Freephone number if I can be of further assistance with anything else.
Customer Relations Officer 4th Floor
Old Bank Building
Telephone: 0161 246 2840
Freephone : 0800 0686 727
Facsimile: 0161 827 6604