Rachel, a supporter of Palestinian traders, tells her story to Pat Pile
Buying food such as olive oil and other goods produced by Palestinian people is an effective way we can all support local Palestinian communities in Israel-Palestine, particularly in the Occupied Territories. After serving for three months as an Ecumenical Accompanier – an international human rights monitor – in Palestine, I was invited to speak to a Peace Group meeting. I gave an account of my experiences, and during the lunch break I was approached by three women who asked, ‘What are we going to do about the situation?’ One said someone she knew was giving up selling Zaytoun Palestinian products, and suggested we should take over the work.
With assistance from the community arm of the Cooperative Society we set up a not for profit cooperative. With 25 friends paying a minimum stake of £50, totalling £1,250, we bought our first stock of Zaytoun handmade food. (Others start on a much smaller scale.) At first we sold mainly at Palestine Solidarity Campaign meetings, and to friends. Now we have a monthly stall in the town centre, and also attend a few regular annual craft and green fairs and a horticultural fair. Our aim is simply to support the artisans and farmers in the West Bank, but if we make any profit this goes to health or education in the West Bank…
Rachel was talking to Pat Pile of the Sabeel-Kairos URC Action Group
This is an extract from an article published in the June 2022 edition of Reform