Pro­duct­ban has­no­linkto Gaza, says Tesco

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY DANIEL EASTERMAN

TESCO HAS de­nied that its de­ci­sion to stop sell­ing a prod­uct from the West Bank is a re­sponse to Is­raeli ac­tion in Gaza.

From Septem­ber, the UK’s largest su­per­mar­ket chain will with­draw a brand of dates which are pack­aged in the ter­ri­to­ries but grown in Is­rael.

Con­cerned cus­tomers, who con­tacted the JC, said they feared Tesco was con­duct­ing a boy­cott of Is­raeli prod­ucts in protest against Op­er­a­tion Pro­tec­tive Edge.

But in a state­ment, Michael Kiss­man, Tesco’s UK com­mu­ni­ca­tions direc­tor, said the chain’s pol­icy on Is­raeli prod­ucts had not changed.

He wrote: “We con­tinue to source a range of prod­ucts from Is­rael and these prod­ucts con­tinue to be avail­able in our stores.

“All these prod­ucts are clearly la­belled with coun­try of ori­gin in line with EU guid­ance.

“In terms of sourc­ing from the West Bank, we cur­rently only source one own-brand prod­uct from this area and this prod­uct will no longer be stocked from Septem­ber. How­ever, this de­ci­sion was taken some months ago and is not con­nected to the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion. ”

A spokesman for the su­per­mar­ket said that the move was part of a “reg­u­lar prod­uct re­view process”. He said the dates were be­ing re­moved for com­mer­cial rea­sons.

Tesco has also asked some of its sup­pli­ers to list all their prod­ucts and in­gre­di­ents from Is­rael and the West Bank. It said it had asked for the in­for­ma­tion be­cause of in­quiries re­ceived from cus­tomers.

The spokesman said: “We have re­ceived some ques­tions from cus­tomers about prod­ucts we sell that are sourced from Is­rael or the West Bank.

“To make sure we an­swered their ques­tions with the most ac­cu­rate and up-to-date in­for­ma­tion, we con­tacted sup­pli­ers to dou­ble check our own in­for­ma­tion, par­tic­u­larly for branded prod­ucts.”

Bar Shira

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