What to consider when shopping. for groceries.
People have be asking if they should boycott certain retailers because they carry Israeli products and/or support pro Israel activities like “Walk with Israel.”
In making this choice, people need to consider what works best for them. Certainly, to avoid buying Israeli products would be important. Just as with other boycotts such as the South African boycott the focus was on imported products such as citrus fruit or wine. That said, some people may choose to avoid spending money in stores that continue to have apartheid products or support apartheid Israel in other ways. Regardless of the choice, it is important retailers know that you are not buying the apartheid products.
In cases, such as Adonis in Montreal, a weekly information picket over several years, along with consumer pressure, led Adonis to pull Sabra hummus from their shelves. This type of specific action is useful to inform the public, and also put pressure on the retailer to stop carrying an apartheid products.
Things to consider in particular when shopping:
- A barcode starting with 729 usually indicates a product of Israel. But this is not always reliable. The best way to tell if a product is made in Israel is to look for a “Product of Israel” label or to ask the retailer if they can guarantee a product isn’t from Israel.
- Israeli fruits, vegetables and other produce which is often from illegal settlements and medjoul with “product of Israel” which are from illegal settlements. Ask retailers to remove these from their shelves.
- Sabra Hummus – This product is produced in a joint venture between PepsiCo and the Strauss Group. The Strauss Group financially supports the Israeli occupation army.
In Canada there are four major grocery companies, which include many store entities. All of these are known to carry various apartheid products, and to have in one way or another provided support to Israel such as sponsoring the annual “Walk with Israel” in Toronto. These include:
- EmpireCo, which operates Sobeys, Safeway, Foodland, FreshCo, IGA and others., as well as real estate investments
- Loblaws Companies Ltd which includes Loblaws, No Frills, Shoppers’ Drug Mart and many others (see below for more details)
- Metro Inc which includes Metro, Food Basics, Adonis and others
- Pattison Food Group which includes Save-On-Foods and many others. In the case of the Pattison Food Group companies we would suggest a full boycott. See information below.
The Jim Pattison Group- a reactionary Evangelical Christian Zionist (or as the Israeli media called him, an “Evangelical billionaire”) who has financially supported many right-wing projects, including a donation of NIS 10.6 million ($2.9 million) to “Israeli Roots Journey”. This project is run by the group Mibereshit, is co-funded by the Israeli state, and has been referred to by some teachers in Israel as “incessant indoctrination”. Boycott all divisions and outlets of the enormous and global Jim Pattison group, which boasts 455 locations world wide. Join us by endorsing this campaign and sending the message that oppression of the Palestinian people will not be tolerated!!
Boycott the Jim Pattison Group, a statement by the Canada Palestine Association (Vancouver) 2012.
Also other corporations in Canada sells groceries as well as other items
Costco- carries Hadiklaim Medjoul and other Israeli product. It is reported the Costco sells produce from Oppy which indicates on their website products are imported from Israel.
Walmart: pledged $1 million aid for Israel victims. Walmart said its donation follows a $1 million grant the Walmart Foundation pledged to the U.S. Holocaust Museum in October, and match funds of employees up to $3M in the USD. Also sell PlantX.
Shoppers Drug Mart -(Pharmaprix in Quebec) is a Canadian retail pharmacy chain with more than 1,300 stores in ten provinces and two territories. The company was started as Shoppers World (a store at Victoria Park and Danforth in Toronto) by pharmacist Murray Koffler in 1962. The Koffler family still retains ownership of the Super-Pharm pharmacy, which has locations in Israel, and several other countries. The logo of Shoppers Drug Mart and Super-Pharm are similar and both carry Life Brand, Lifestyles and Quo brands. Leumi Bank which is on the UN data base of companies involved directly in illegal settlements. acquired 18% stake in Super-Pharma in 2007. Note the Loblaws Companies acquired Shoppers Drug Mart in 2014. Loblaws companies include No Fills, No Name, President’s Choice, Superstore, Real Canadian Superstore, T&T Supermarket, Zehrs, Proviso, Wholesale Club, NG Cash and Carry, Entrepôts Presto, Real Canadian Liquor Store, Club Entrepôt, Atlantic Cash and Carry, Choice Properties (real estate), Maple Leaf Gardens, and others, along with franchises such as Save Easy, Fortinos, Supervalue, Shop Easy, Lucky Dollar, Red and White, Valu-mart, Freshmart, Your Independent Grocery and L’Intermarché. Also brand names such as Joe Fresh, Theodore & Pringle (optical), The Mobile Shop and others. As well as financial services through President Choice Financials, and rewards program, PC Optimum and Express. Loblaws companies including Shoppers Drug Mart sell Life Brand, Lifestyles and Quo brands, as well as there have been reports of Israeli produce being sold. People are encouraged to ignore these brands that are shared Super-Pharm product line, and any products from apartheid-Israel, and to bring to Loblaws/Shoppers’ attention concerns about sales of apartheid-products. Loblaws was placed on the shame list for support of Walk for Israel (see below).