London, Asharq Al-Awsat- In line with the British government’s policy of supporting the Palestinian economy, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has declared his support for Palestinian farmers and olive oil and said in statements on the eve of launching a project to back the export of olive oil from the West Bank to Britain: “I am glad that Palestinian olive oil, which carries the Fair Trade logo, will be sold in British shops. Production of olive oil plays a basic role in the West Bank’s economy and British shoppers will be helping the Palestinian farmers earn a living by buying this oil.”
As of today, bottles of Palestinian olive oil imported into Britain will carry the internationally-recognized “Fair Trade” logo which encourages trade that helps developing countries and confirms the products’ sources are safe. Michael Foster, the British minister of state for international development affairs, will attend the launch of the logo on the Palestinian oil with Palestinian farmer Mahmud Isa and Heather Mas’ud from the “Zaytun” Company, which has been working for years to support the Palestinian economy by encouraging the export of olive products. Isa said: “Olives mean everything to us. My father and grandfather worked this soil and now my sons are working with me to gather the olives.” He added: “The fair trade logo will bring stability for the farmers and allows investment in our work.”
It is recalled that a “Fair Trade” delegation will tour Britain during the next two weeks in order to shed light on Palestinian products. The “Palestinian Fair Trade Producers Company” includes 265 Palestinian farmers and their products are expected to be supported in British shops. The launch of the olive oil project coincides with the “Fair Trade” activities during the next two weeks during the annual campaign of the “Fair Trade Organization” to promote its aims and encourage consumers to choose products that help stability in the world and support independent farmers. The organization says it is helping support 7.5 million persons around the world, like farmers, workers, and their families who live in developing countries’ rural areas. The Palestinian olive oil will be added to 4,500 products that bear the “Fair Trade” logo and whose value last year reached 700 million sterling pounds.