Israeli producers fight EU pressure

25th March, 2013 by Gabriel Stone

Israeli winemakers on the West Bank are facing a growing battle with the European Union over how they label produce from this politically sensitive region.

IsraelEU officials are urging member states to label goods produced from Israeli settlements as either “Produce of the West Bank (Israeli settlement produce)” or “Israeli produce of the Occupied Palestinian Territories”.

However, wine producers in this disputed area are speaking out against this international pressure, which they view as unjust victimisation .

“This is pure racism,” Yaakov Berg, founder of Psagot vineyards told the Telegraph. Having established the venture near Jerusalem almost a decade ago, he now produces around 120,000 bottles of wine each year.

Defending his position, Berg told the newspaper, “I didn’t kill anyone to take this land, I paid for it, and I provide good jobs for Palestinians that pay three or four times what they could earn elsewhere.”

According to a report published last year by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), “By accepting imports of settlement goods designated as originating in ‘Israel’, Europe is tacitly accepting Israel’s creeping expansion of sovereignty.”

As a result, the FIDH argued: “Governments are failing to protect consumers’ legal right to make an informed choice about purchasing settlement goods.”

This view received further endorsement earlier this month, when 27 EU heads of mission signed a report that recommended strict labeling of settlement products, thereby encouraging a boycott similar to that imposed on South Africa during Apartheid.

Last year The Co-operative Group became the first major UK retailer to announce that it would no longer buy products from suppliers who work with the settlements.

There are fears that any boycott could have a negative knock on effect for the burgeoning Israeli wine industry as a whole.

According to latest information from Wines Israel, the country has 5,500 hectares of vineyard, with exports in 2012 worth US$29.8 million. Of these, 55% go to the US, with France and the UK the next biggest importers of Israeli wine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

Sales Account Manager

Jascots Wine Merchants
London, UK

Marylebone Sales Manager

Philglas & Swiggot
Marylebone, London, UK

Area Sales Manager

Bon Coeur Fine Wines
North England, UK

Procurement Assistant – Wine

Adnams PLC
Southwold, UK

Account Manager Central London

Speciality Drinks Ltd
London, UK

Brand Ambassador

Speciality Drinks Ltd
London, UK

National Business Development Manager

Speciality Drinks Ltd
London, UK

Marketing Assistant

Hatch Mansfield
Ascot, Berkshire, UK

Marketing Manager

Bancroft Wines
London, UK

Regional Sales Manager – Scotland

Bancroft Wines
London, UK

Sales Manager – London On-Trade

Bancroft Wines
London, UK

Customer Service & Sales Support Executive

Jascots Wine Merchants
London, UK

Market Insight Analyst

Conviviality PLC
London, UK

Technical Manager

Enotria&Coe
Park Royal, London, GB

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

Deadline : 25th August 2017

The Global Malbec Masters 2017

Deadline : 25th August 2017

Global Chardonnay Masters 2017

Deadline : 1st September 2017

The Global Sauvignon Blanc Masters 2017

Deadline : 1st September 2017

Click to view more

The Global Rosé Masters 2017

With wines from the palest of pink to almost ruby red, bone dry to almost cloyingly sweet, reductively handled to barrel-aged, as well as gently spritzy to fully sparkling.

The Global Organic Masters 2017

The drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Organic Masters

The Drinks Business Awards 2017

Now in its 15th year, the db awards have become the most authoritative, internationally respected badge of achievement in the alcoholic drinks industry.

The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters 2017

the drinks business Hong Kong announces its first year of The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters.

Click to view more