Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign
التضامن الإيرلندي الفلسطيني

BDS campaigners declare victory as international bidders for Agrexco drop out

* Previous Irish bidder Total Produce no longer looking to buy Agrexco
* Clear pattern of boycotted companies entering financial crisis
* Boycott campaign increases international pressure on Israel

Palestinian Boycott National Commitee
Press Release, 15 August 2011

It emerged Thursday that Irish company Total Produce was no longer in
the running to buy troubled Israeli exporter Agrexco. The Irish fruit
company dropped out of the running after pressure from Boycott
Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaigners, who had written because of
Agrexco’s involvement in illegal West Bank settlements.

BDS campaigners in Ireland reacted swiftly to a call by the BDS
National Committee (BNC) and wrote to Total Produce explaining how
Agrexco was involved in the illegal and immoral occupation and
exploitation of Palestinian land, urging them not to invest in
Agrexco. They also warned the company that investment in Agrexco would
turn Total into the next target of the BDS campaign.

“There is now a clear pattern of companies targeted by BDS campaigners
going into serious financial meltdown” said Adel Abu Ni’meh, head of
the Palestinian Farmers’ Union (part of the BNC). “Agrexco and Veolia,
two major companies strongly linked to illegal Israeli settlements are
both in serious trouble now. This shows that BDS hits companies
complicit in Israeli occupation, colonialism and apartheid where it
hurts: their bottom lines”.

The news come only days after Veolia, a French company targeted by the
BDS campaign because of its involvement in illegal Israeli settlement
projects, announced it would massively scale-back its global

A Tel Aviv judge gave Agrexco bankruptcy proceedings a final extension
Thursday, as Israeli company Kislev now seems to be the only serious
buyer, according to Israeli financial news website Globes. There was
one other bid from a Dutch company, but the judge dismissed it as
“having more holes than Swiss cheese”.

Agrexco has been a prime target of Palestinian solidarity activists
calling for BDS against Israel until it ends its illegal and criminal
policies against Palestinians.

A new coalition of European campaigners last month promised to “put an
end to Agrexco’s presence in Europe”. Twenty-three groups signed a
declaration saying they had established mechanisms to coordinate
boycott campaigns and court actions against the Israeli exporter.


The Palestinian BDS National committee (BNC):


* Sources: “Agrexco stay of proceedings extended”, Globes, 11 August:
“Veolia, major target of Palestinian BDS campaign, in financial
crisis”, BNC, 8 August:
“Palestinian civil society warns Irish company against purchase of
Israeli exporter”, BNC, 1 August:

* The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) is a coalition of
Palestinian civil society groups. It was formed as the Palestinian
reference point in the broad campaign for Boycott, Divestment and
Sanctions (BDS), which resulted in the July 2005 Palestinian Call for
boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel, with the initial
endorsement of over 170 Palestinian organizations.

* Sold under brand names such as Carmel, Coral, Biotop and Eco-Fresh,
Agrexco products from illegal West Bank settlements have routinely
been mislabelled and submitted with papers claiming they originate
inside the Green Line. Such attempts to fraudulently qualify them for
preferential customs treatment under the EU-Israel Association
Agreement have led to censure in the British Parliament. Agrexco has
recently suffered acute financial problems that have led to bankruptcy
proceedings being brought against them in the Israeli capital Tel
Aviv. In June, Israeli business publication Globes reported “heavy
losses” for Agrexco, as the fresh produce company struggled to manage
its debt. recently reported the company owed creditors
€106 million. For more information see:

* The Jerusalem Light Rail tramway that Veolia is involved in building
and operating is explicitly designed to cement Israel’s grip on
illegal West Bank settlements and tie them more firmly into the state
of Israel. Veolia also operates other settlement infrastructure
projects: It runs bus services for Israeli settlers on settler-only
roads linking the settlements with Israel. These roads have decimated
Palestinian towns and villages by stealing their land for construction
and cutting them off from each other. Through its subsidiary TMM,
Veolia also collects refuse from illegal settlements at buries it at
the illegal Tovlan landfill site in the occupied Jordan Valley. For
more background:

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