Dear Jimmy Russo and Valley Grow Salads,
We are here today because of Valley Gown Salad's 20% share in the Israeli
company Edom UK. The purpose of our visit is to request that your company
divests from Edom UK and the Israeli economy. As we believe you have
previously been made aware, trading with Israel inevitably entwines your
business with the business of occupation, segregation and ethnic cleansing
We understand that you have denied that Edom UK trade from Israeli
settlements. However, Edom UK's official packing house is located in the
town of Sappir, in the Arava region on the Israeli side of the Green Line.
Sappir is partly built on land funded by the Jewish National Fund, which
reserve the land they control for Jews only. Hence, by operating there,
Edom and Valley Grown Salads are complicit in the implementation of
Apartheid policies inside Israel itself.
Edom UK are known to have worked with a grower in Tomer settlement in the
Jordan Valley in the past. Corporate Watch reminded you of this fact in
2010, when you claimed that that was no longer the case, despite some of
you boxes and labels being spotted inside a packing house there. After
some research, you accepted that Edom UK had used this settlement grower
for a shipment to Russia as late as January 2010. As this episode
confirms, any trade with Israel is likely to involve some involvement with
the settlement economy.
Tomer settlement is located in the Jordan Valley, next to the Palestinian
village of Fasayil. As a group with close links to the area, we know the
situation there well. The village comes under frequent attacks by the
Israeli army. Part of Fasayil is located in Area C and are therefore
prevented from doing any building work or house repairs and are forbidden
access to running water or electricity by Israel. Structures in Fasayil
Wusta are frequently demolished. A video of the devastating demolition
carries out in June this year can be seen on http://bit.ly/sxOnTR .
Most workers in Tomer settlement are Palestinians, many of whom are from
Fasayil. Often under age, they work for around half of the minimum wage.
The grower that you used in Tomer have confirmed that the Palestinians
working in his fields get paid around NIS 100 a day, which equals around
60% of the Israeli minimum wage to which they are entitled by law.
We know that you are well known and highly regarded for your local British
produce and that you also have facilities in Spain. We urge you to divest
from your investment in Israel and focus on more positive parts of your
Unless Valley Grown Salads officially distance themselves from practices of
exploitation and occupation profiteering, you should expect increased
scrutiny of your business practices.
Brighton Jordan Valley Solidarity Campaign