Despite guarantees of not trading settlement goods, DanWatch has found peppers, avocados, sharon fruit and grapefruit from companies that have production in settlements. The supermarkets are Netto, Føtex, Irma, Fakta and Kvickly.
Danish Foreign Minister: Settlements are illegal
The international community regards the settlements as illegal, and as one of the biggest obstacles to peace in the Middle East. Foreign Minister Lene Espersen announced in a press release in March 2010 a clear Danish position on the settlements: "They are illegal under international law and constitute an obstacle to peace," the Foreign Minister said.
Israeli exporters mislabel
When goods from settlements end in Denmark, it is because Israeli exporters of fruit and vegetables do not label correctly.
The EU makes clear demands for the distinction between products from Israel and the settlements. Yet exporters label all their products "Produce of Israel" - even when they are grown on Palestinian land.
Agrexco products in the supermarket, Facts and Irma Agrexco Agricultural
Export Company Ltd. is Israel's largest exporter of fruits and vegetables. A part of its production is run by settlers in the occupied West Bank. In the supermarket Føtex DanWatch found orange peppers from Carmel Agrexco. On the box with the peppers was a sticker with the name "Fadida Ofer" - a producer of peppers in the Tomer settlement in the West Bank.
Coop has refused to disclose the name of their Israeli suppliers, but DanWatch has also found products from Agrexco, in the Coop stores Irma and Fakta. Coop's director of environmental and food policy,
Mogens Werge, said that Coop has "a clear policy not to import goods from the settlements."
Danish Supermarket fires Dutch supplier
The orange peppers from Agrexco ended up in Føtex through a Dutch supplier. Danish Supermarket no longer trusts that supplier, said purchasing manager Peter Løth When DanWatch presented the information to him.
"A breach of trust means that we can not work together with the supplier," says Peter Løth. However, the incident will have no implications for Agrexco, although the company has production in the settlements.
"It is the one who supplies to us that we must have confidence in. It is not a problem for us to work with Agrexco," says Peter Løth.
Palestinian workers under harsh conditions
In Føtex DanWatch also found goods from a second Israeli fruit exporter called Mehadrin. The goods in question are grapefruits from Mehadrin of the brand Jaffa. In Føtex and Netto DanWatch has found pomelo of the same brand. In Netto avocados from Mehadrin of the brand Top were found.
According to Purchasing Manager at Danish Supermarket Peter Løth, Mehadrin is their largest supplier of fruit and vegetables from Israel.
In May 2010, the British organization Corporate Occupation documented that part of Mehadrin's production takes place on occupied land, among others in Beqa'ot settlement. According to Corporate Occupation Palestinian, laborers work in the settlement without papers and at a salary less than half the Israeli minimum wage. Products from Beqa'ot were labeled as if they were from Israel.
In Kvickly and Irma, too, grapefruits from Mehadrin have been found.