Palestine Feb 2013 : Cherriessa: From occupied land to Europe?s markets
During a recent visit to the Jordan Valley, Corporate Watch found evidence of a company operating from there that we previously haven't come across. Cherriessa, trading under the slogan 'From Farm to Market' is a family owned business which claims to sort, package and export vegetables from Israel to Europe. According to Cherriessa Ltd's website, the company was founded in 2009 to address the developing and growth of 'The Saada Family Modern Farm. The Saada Farm was founded in 1989 and exported their produce through Carmel Agrexco.
The Saada Farm promotes itself as the largest grower of cherry-tomatoes in Israel with 20 hectares dedicated to growing the fruits. Cherrissa also exports mini plum cherry-tomatoes, and red, orange and chilli peppers grown by Saada on 10 hectares of land. The labels obtained by Corporate Watch clearly indicate that the produce is destined for the European market, with their motto written in English and the contents written in several European languages. As with almost all produce labels we have come across, the labels state 'Produce of Israel'.
Corporate Watch has not been able to identify exactly where Saada Farm's 30 hectares of land are located and their web-site only give an email address and phone number. The fact that their labels were found in the Jordan Valley proves that the company at least packages some of its produce on occupied territory.
Since Agrexco's liquidation in 2011, space has opened up for new and smaller companies to take over some of the market previously controlled by the national exporter. Although there are signs that Agrexco is regaining some of its market through its new owner the Bickel Group, Corporate Watch will continue to do its best to document companies involved in the changing Israeli export market.
Cherriessa has been contacted for comment. We are still awaiting a response.
For pictures see here