Zaytoun brings the best olive oil from Palestine to the UK
Yesteday, Edinburgh hosted its second Eco Fair, a great opportunity to discover how charities and local businesses are carrying out the idea of “think global, act local”. Greenpeace, East Coast Organics or Hadeel were some of the organisations present in Out of the Blue Drill Hall. This year the fair has gone bigger, with 30 stalls devoted to causes such as animal welfare, climate change, and fair trade. In this post, we would like to pay especial attention to the latter through one of the brands we saw there: Zaytoun.
Zaytoun is a UK-based company founded in 2004 with the purpose of selling fairtrade, organic, and artisanal Palestinian food in the UK to support the livelihood of Palestinian growers and farmers. You can find and buy their products online or in specific stores across the UK (see the entire list here).
This social enterprise started trading olive oil, their leading product, with consumers paying in advance to the reception of their orders. In 2009, the popularity and reach of Zaytoun increased after they launched the world’s first fairtrade certified olive oil. Nowadays, the range of products they offer is wider: grains like freekeh or maftoul, an herbs mix called za’atar, almonds, and dates. They also sell cook books with traditional Palestian recipes.
Apart from purchasing the food-related products, people can also participate in the project Trees for life, aimed to foster the planting of olive tree saplings in Palestine. As explained in this report, this year more than 13,500 saplings have been distributed to more than 250 farmers in 20 villages in the West Bank.
There is one more initiative powered by Zaytoun for their supporters and customers: the chance to visit Palestine, always keeping the sustainable and fairtrade essence of the enterprise. Two trips are organised every year. On one hand is the Harvest Tour, which offer people the possibility to visit some of the communities where the products are grown. On the other hand, the Olive Picking Trip allows volunteers to work alongside the Palestinian farmers for two weeks. There is one condition in this case: volunteers need to be fit, as they will walk around 10 km daily and live in basic conditions.
This project is constantly growing and so is it the number of farmers joining this network. Although applications are open to all those who own a suitable land and have demonstrated capacity to nurture trees, priority will be given to those who lost their trees to the Israeli destruction, women, young starters, and small farmers.
Zaytoun’s endeavour to guarantee Palestinian farmers the sale of their entire crop at a fair price has been fruitful, enabling to transform the lives of producers and their international consumers. For all these reasons, the enterprise received the Fairtrade Global Trader Award last March. Now we are giving them our Green Beings’ Green Face.
Zaytoun is a UK-based social enterprise which markets fairtrade, organic and artisanal Palestinian products in the UK. They delivered the world’s first fairtrade certified olive oil in 2009, and now they also sell other kind of commodities. Every year, they organise two trips to Palestine for their consumers and supporters.