The Food and Allied Workers’ Union (FAWU) condemns Shoprite Checkers, Pick ‘n Pay and Fruit and Veg for the import of avocado pears from Israel.
FAWU is appalled at the insensitivity towards the plight of the Palestinian people by the procurement of supplies from an oppressive, apartheid country like Israel. It seems like rubbing salt in the wounds of Palestinians to procure supplies. FAWU is convinced that the import of these goods are in contravention of the spirit of various International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions.
FAWU calls on the above retailers to immediately cease importing produce from Israel. Whilst FAWU is glad about the number of locally procured goods, we feel that stores like yourselves could easily procure these “out of season” goods from other countries, even if it means paying a slightly higher price.
According to figures quoted by Shoprite Group Managing Director, Brian Weyers, the store imports 1,12% of total imported produce from Israel. Being a relatively small percentage, it should therefore not make a huge difference to import from other countries who do not oppress.
Retailers should not have to wait for formal trade agreements by e.g. the UN or South African government to behave in a morally acceptable manner by rejecting produce from oppressive countries like Israel. In fact, experience in the apartheid South Africa era should have taught us to set the standard when it comes to condemning racist, oppressive behaviour.