European companies have asked Israeli farmers in the Jordan Valley to clearly label their produce as coming from “the occupied territories”, Israel Hayom newspaper reported.
According to the newspaper, settlement products exported to the EU are currently repackaged upon arrival at their destination and a small sticker is added indicating the goods’ point of origin.
The Dutch Ministry of Agriculture has also informed importers that settlement products must be clearly labeled before leaving Israel.
Israel’s Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Uri Ariel’s office issued a statement saying: “Product labelling and the boycott of Israeli products by European countries and companies are reprehensible, and reek of anti-Semitism. Their [the EU’s] hypocrisy screams to high heaven. They are ‘very concerned’ with peace in the Middle East and they make sure to label Israeli products, while rushing to make deals with Iran, the terrorism power.”
Yehuda Reines, who exports herbs and spices produced in the Jordan Valley mainly to the EU, told the newspaper that within weeks losses could amount to hundreds of thousands of shekels.
“In the long run, the damage could be devastating,” he said, adding that the issue must be addressed at the government level.