Zaytoun's monthly products and campaign update
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Welcome to our Easter newsletter! Read on for news of this year's trips to Palestine, a special offer for The Devil's Passion, an update on our delicious Medjoul dates, campaign news and more! And we would love you to nominate us for the BOOM 2017 awards.

Being a finalist in the BOOM Best of Organic Market last year was a huge boost, and we would love to see the producers and their work recognised again. 

The BOOM awards helps to celebrate the people and businesses which work hard to supply fully traceable food as it should be. That’s: Better for the planet, wildlife and animals, GM free with reduced exposure to toxic pesticides and without the routine use of antibiotics. 

We would love you to nominate us here.  And to thank you for taking the time out to nominate you’ll be entered for a free prize draw to a hamper of the shortlisted products. The winners will be announced at the BOOM awards ceremony at London’s iconic Market Hall in Borough Market.   xxxxxx
The olive harvest

Join us on a trip to Palestine

This autumn there are three different ways you can travel to Palestine and spend time with the producers and their families. The tours are often an illuminating experience as well a source of new friendships and sense of a shared adventure.

Harvest Tour Saturday 21 Oct – Saturday 28 Oct 
Our annual harvest tour offers the opportunity to visit many of the communities who supply our products. From the date palms of Jericho to the olive groves of Jenin as well as visits to organisations who work on behalf of these communities against the injustices of the Israeli occupation. The cost is £690, and includes all accommodation, meals, transport and guides (excludes evening meal in Jerusalem). Additional costs: Flights, travel insurance. You can book a place here

A Taste of Palestine Saturday 14 Oct – Sunday 22 Oct
Last year, for the first time, Zaytoun worked with the Amos Trust on a food based tour which involved cooking, eating and learning about Palestinian food and we are pleased offer this tour for 2017. The tour will include visits to Bethlehem, Nablus, Jerusalem, Jericho, Sebastya and Nazareth and participants will have the opportunity to learn recipes in home kitchens, sample street food, meet with farmers and help harvest their produce and wash it all down with fresh lemonade or a cold Taybeh beer. The tour is limited in numbers and you can book here.  A journalist from The Church Times joined us on the first Zaytoun & Amos 'Taste of Palestine' tour last year, and you can read about his experience here.   

The Olive Picking Tour - dates to be confirmed
The farmers are looking at the blossoms and the formation of the buds over the next few weeks, and should be able to give us the harvest dates during April. The Olive Picking Trip is a chance for volunteers to work for a fortnight alongside the olive farmers in the groves and enable them to bring their valuable harvest home. Zaytoun works with the Friends of Madama and Burin to coordinate the teams’ placement within different villages in the Salfit and Nablus areas. All volunteers complete an initial application form, followed by a telephone interview and a training and assessment weekend in Britain before acceptance onto the team.  To find out more please email us to

Fairtrade Fortnight 2017

Despite last minute hurried rearrangements due to the visa denial for Bassema and Lamis, we only had to cancel two events in Winchester and Rochdale. The Zaytoun team covered the events scheduled for the two women, speaking alongside Veena Nabar, an expert on cooperatives and the social economy, on the SUSY sponsored tour of the UK and Ireland. Taysir also completed his own tour of shops, universities and local groups who held talks in village halls far and wide.  

Between us we spoke to hundreds of people, some of whom had little knowledge of the situation in Palestine and how Fairtrade supports rural livelihoods under occupation. All the events were very well attended, with lively discussion, and a motivation amongst everyone present to both buy Palestinian Fairtrade products and inspire others to do the same. Many people have also taken up their pens and written to Robert Goodwill as part of our campaign for better access to travel to the UK for Fairtrade producers.

In the two weeks we spoke at public meetings, universities, colleges, schools and shops, and joined a social enterprise workshop. We joined up with Think Global, held a public Palestinian dinner with Holme Valley Fairtrade, did interviews with the Waterford One World Centre in Ireland, spoke at events for International Women's Day, joined in with a Fairtrade tea and talked to students at Worcester University on the Sustainable World module followed by a talk on Food Security at the University's Beacons Centre.

Here's a few of the comments sent in after the events:

"Just thought I would let you know that from our point of view, the evening was a great success and we had around 50 + people attending who were a good mix of those who already support PSC etc and those who were much less aware." Nicky – It’s Only Fair shop, Northampton

"The whole event went on for about two hours, including lots of questions/ discussion following the presentation. The atmosphere was very lively and engaged." Sandy, Zaytoun seller, Dundee

"As you can see, your presence helped in our selling over £300 worth of Zaytoun Fairtrade products and supported Watford having it’s Fairtrade Town status renewed for a further two years." John Dowdle, Watford Friends of Salfeet.
Our Medjoul dates are back in stock 

Medjoul dates back in stock

And with a drum roll...we are very pleased to announce that after much anticipation, our Medjoul Dates are back stock! The 5kg and 1kg packs are available at one of our wholesalers, and the smaller packs will be available shortly at your usual outlet.
Is the UK open for business?


Join us in writing to Robert Goodwill the Minister of State for Immigration to ask for visas to be issued to Fairtrade producers. We invited two producers from Palestine to talk at our customer events during Fairtrade Fortnight which is a highlight of our year. It was incredibly disappointing that just two days before Fairtrade farmer and community leader Bassema Barahmeh, and Canaan Fair Trade's marketing assistant Lamis Zamzam were due to travel they were told their visas had been declined.    This happened despite the UK government's stated policy that it wants to support business with Palestine. We are now lobbying Robert Goodwill, the Minister of State for Immigration, to ensure that visas for Fairtrade producers are issued in the future, and we are hoping that Bassema and Lamis may be able to come later in the year. It would be really helpful to have your support. To help click on the image above for a letter that you can edit, and then it can be emailed directly to Robert Goodwill.
Za'atar is an indigenous variety of thyme 

Easter recipe

This recipe for honey and za'atar-glazed spring lamb with wild garlic purée brings together the wonderful deep flavours of za'atar with seasonal wild garlic and spring lamb. A great dish for Easter celebrations, the recipe includes how to make your own za'atar. But, obviously, we have another solution if you want a short cut!  The Zaytoun za'atar is made with the za'atar plant which is an indigenous variety of thyme and has a deep aromatic flavour.  
Mohammed Hamada, a Fairtrade olive oil producer, visiting St Paul's Cathedral

Does your cathedral use Fairtrade olive oil?

As Easter approaches, cathedrals are stocking up on our Fairtrade olive oil for use in Chrism Mass and confirmation services - because the oil comes from the Holy Land. St Paul's cathedral has been ordering oil from Zaytoun for a few years and last year Mohammed Hamada, a Fairtrade olive farmer from Burqin in Palestine, was welcomed to the cathedral to hear how oil from his trees is used to anoint congregations in the London diocese. If you would like your cathedral to use Fairtrade olive oil you can order it from our wholesaler here

We will be at the London Muslim Lifestyle Show next weekend on 15 -16th April, and will have lots of samples of delicious Zaytoun goodies for you to try so please come and see us. 

We also need volunteers to help on the stand if you would like to come along? If you would like more details please email
Vivien Sansour, founder of the Palestine Heirloom Seed Library

Founder of the heirloom seed library

This is a wide-ranging interview with Vivien Sansour, founder of the  Palestine Heirloom Seed Library.  We are very lucky that Vivien is also one of the tour guides on our Taste of Palestine tour so why not join us this year to meet her and find out more about her work. Interviewed by the www.buildPalestine blog Vivien explains:  
"It’s important to have the biological diversity to ensure that we survive. Also, with each seed comes a story. When certain varieties disappear, a whole cultural tradition disappears with them. We don’t eat just to survive, we eat because it’s a cultural manifestation—it’s a ceremony and ritual and culture.  You can read the full interview here.


Special offer for The Devil's Passion....

Or Easter in Hell, written and performed by Justin Butcher and presented by the Passion Pit Theatre, is on at different venues between now and Good Friday. Set in 33 AD, as Jesus enters Jerusalem to fulfill his destiny Satan ascends from hell to stop him. A battle begins - for the soul of humanity.

There is a special offer for  friends of Zaytoun with   a £10 advance ticket deal, for performances at St James’s Piccadilly on the 10th, 11th and Good Friday 14th April. To access this offer, go to: and use the discount code LENT2017. 

Details of other performances around the UK are on the website,


Gaza Girls:Growing up in Gaza is published later this year. ©Monique Jaques

Palestine update

Nabi Saleh villagers have been protesting their right to use their ancient spring for years and recently they marched again to reclaim their rights to the spring.  A short clip of the event can be seen here
A new book by photographer, Monique Jaques, called  Gaza Girls: Growing Up in the Gaza Strip, will be published later this year. ‘I first travelled to Gaza to cover an eight-day war between Israeli Defence Forces and Hamas,’ says Jaques. ‘That was five years ago and I have returned again and again, to document the strength, creativity and vibrancy of Palestinian girls and young women’. Take a look here.

In another example of the barriers to communication and connection that exist for Palestinians and Brits to meet each other a boycott supporter was declined entry to Israel recently
Lobby Liam Fox to ensure the new trade deals change trade for good.  

A commitment from the government

The Fairtrade Foundation received a response from Prime Minister Theresa May to the petition 50,000 Fairtrade supporters signed last autumnIn her letter to our Chief Executive, Michael Gidney, she says that her government is 'committed to creating a trade policy that will work for everyone, including the world’s poorest.' Read it in full here.

But the campaign isn’t over yet. Liam Fox, our new International Trade Secretary, has already started informal trade talks with over ten countries including China, Australia and the US. And we know that commitments can crumble when negotiations get down to the details. If he brokers a trade deal that favours a wealthier country, it could destroy the livelihoods of farmers in poorer countries who currently rely on the UK as their biggest market.  Tell Liam Fox he must make sure our trade works for everyonesign the petition now.

Palestine vacancies

The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) have now opened the recruitment process for new volunteer Ecumenical Accompaniers (human rights monitors) to serve in the West Bank in 2018. The application pack and essential documents are on the website The closing date is Friday 28th April.

The Hadeel Fair Trade Palestinian Craft Shop in Edinburgh is recruiting a Retail Manager to be responsible for the efficient and profitable operation of the shop. Applications by email to or in writing to Hadeel, 123 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4JN, for the attention of Walter Dunlop, and to include a CV, a personal supporting statement and two references. Closing date for applications Friday, 7th April. Interviews will take place on 12th April, or by negotiation.


Share the news

Check Zaytoun out and share our news!  For last month's newsletter click here.
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