On April the 27th the Cooperative Group board made a historic and welcome decision to extend their Human Rights & Trade Policy to include all companies who trade in the illegal settlements. While the Co-op’s policy shift isn’t a complete boycott of all Israeli companies, we do recognise what an important advance this is for the BDS movement: the 5th biggest UK food retailer and the biggest Co-operative society in Europe will be boycotting four complicit companies and have promised that evidence of other companies’ illegal trading activity, if proven, will result in the policy applying to those companies too.
The Co-operative Group have demonstrated that human rights can come before profit, which is something Israel is desperate to ensure doesn’t become the norm. Now is the time to send a clear message to other food retailers and UK companies, that ethical trading does make a difference and people should always come before profit. You can start by writing a letter to Len Wardle, Chair of the Co-operative Group expressing your appreciation of the policy change. You can do this whether or not you are a member of the Co-op.