A new initiative to offer organic, fair trade Palestinian olive oil to the US market and support farmers who face Israeli military aggression has been launched online.
On its website, Harvest Peace says: “The farmers and agricultural workers endure poverty and daily injustice on account of military aggression and economic isolation. Our goal is to not only raise awareness of their unique situation, but to introduce their products into a broader market.”
From each bottle sold is dedicated to planting olive trees
“This will help raise them out of poverty while ensuring their traditional way of life remains viable for generations to come.”
Jenny Farhat, a first generation Palestinian-American who started the initiative, said: “To my family and to the Palestinian people, the olive trees represent the backbone to our culture.”
However, this culture is being eradicated by frequent Israeli military and settler violence against farmers and their property, with olive trees regularly being uprooted. It is estimated that some 800,000 Palestinian olive trees have been destroyed since 1967.
“This is about justice, peace and the belief that all human beings deserve a dignified way to earn a living,” Farhat explained.
“The olive crop accounts for an estimated nearly 45 per cent of the cultivated land in Palestine, and can reach almost 19 per cent of the country’s agricultural output,” according to Harvest Peace. “Some studies suggest that 100,000 families depend in some way on the olive crop.”