26 August 2009

Pressure Karstens to cut links..

Karsten is a South African company.
Hadiklaim is an Israeli company.

Karsten is doing business with a settler company - this business between Hadiklaim and Karsten, among other things, allows Hadiklaim to market dates in Europe as 'Produced in South Africa' - therefore circumventing European boycotts of Israeli goods - Hadiklaim also sells their OWN dates packaged as South African dates...

Here is a reply to an email from the company:

Dear Mr Karsten

Thanks for your reply.

I am sure you are aware by now the furore surrounding this whole issue. There is an active international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign underway to isolate Israel and Israeli businesses in order to put economic pressure on them so that they relinquish their discriminatory and apartheid practices.

As with apartheid in SA, the wheels of change only gained momentum once the international community decided to boycott South Africa economically, socially and culturally. Human rights violations and discrimination based on race is something that cannot be tolerated in our days and times. As consumers we encourage responsible business practices and responsible partnerships.

I urge you to be totally transparent in your associations, especially with companies from Israel. Hadiklaim is one such company which economically benefits from the occupation - having many of their farms on Palestinian West Bank territory and they are also known to employ Palestinians who are forced to work for them for a pittance and are thus economically enslaved.

I encourage you also, to be clear in your explanation to Hadiklaim as to why you wish not to be associated with them.

Thanks and Kind Regards

Dr M Raiman

2009/8/26 Pieter Karsten Jnr <pieterj@karsten.co.za>

Dear Dr Raiman,

Thanks for your inquiry.

We are farmers and we are South Africans. We do try to make a difference in this new South Africa by setting an example of non-discrimination. We do employ

at peak grape production about 5000 people of all races and all denominations in South Africa.

The Karsten Group is a 100% South African company.

Our family owns 51,95 %

IDC (Industrial Development Corporation) 36.95%

Yarona Farms (Workerstrust) 11.06% (Yarona means “OURS” in Tswana)

Land Merit Investment (A SA individual) 0.04%

We are more than willing to give you all the evidence you need to proof the above facts.

We are totally independent. We do furthermore own companies in Egypt (Karsten Middle East) and the UK (Karsten UK).

Hadiklaim is a CUSTOMER of ours and I have already instructed them to rectify the wording on there website.(They referred to Karsten as “our farm”)

I need to make it very clear that we imported 10 tons of dates from JORDAN in 2007. Except for this once of transaction

all the dates we sold have been our own production(95% SA 5% Namibian).

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need any more answers.

Kind Regards


MD New Vision Fruit (Pty) Ltd


Tel. +27 54 491 9300

Fax. +27 54 491 9352

Cell. +27 82 770 9920


Here is a letter sent to the company:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: sayed dhansay
Date: 2009/8/26
To: pieterj@karsten.co.za

Dear Pieter

I am writing to you out of great concern.

As I'm sure you know, dates form an important part of our diet as Muslims, especially during this month of Ramadan.
Your company, Karsten Farms is a producer of the popular Kalahari Medjoul date, that is widely consumed by our community.
In the last few days however, I have been made aware that Karsten Farms has a business relationship with the Israeli Date Co-operative, Hadiklaim.
I would appreciate it if you could confirm whether Karsten Farms does indeed do any business with Hadiklaim?

As Hadiklaim is based in and operates out of an illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied Jordan Valley, we take an extremely negative view of the company.
In 2005 Palestinian civil society called on the world to implement boycotts, divestment and sanctions on the state of Israel in order to pressure Israel to comply with international law and cease its egregious violations of human rights in the illegally Occupied Palestinian Territories.
This movement pertains even more strongly to companies that operate out of illegal settlements in the West Bank and Jordan Valley.

As this call is being increasingly heeded internationally, as well as in South Africa, I would be very grateful if you could confirm whether Karsten Farms has a trading relationship (whether this is uni or bilateral) with Hadiklaim.

I look forward to your response.


Anonymous said...

here's another link which indicates a 'PARTNERSHIP' and not a customer/supplier relationship


Also of note, the statement on the hadiklaim website that Karsens was one of theirs has been on the website since at least early 2006 (3 years), in all these 3 years Karstens never disputed this.

Anonymous said...

" Jordan River International

On the other side of the Equator from Israel 's Jordan River date plantations is Karsten Farm's Klein Pella, the largest date plantation in the Southern Hemisphere.

Situated on the banks of the Orange River in the semi-desert Northern Cape region of South Africa known as the Bushmanland, Klein Pella produces 220 tons of dates annually, with the promise of increasing quantities in years to come.
Hadiklaim, the Israel Date Growers Cooperative foresaw the potential of working in partnership with Karsten farms.

By linking the Jordan River's Northern Hemisphere growing season with Karsten Farm's Southern Hemisphere growing season, Hadiklaim-Jordan River international now markets freshly cropped dates to locations the world over every season of the year Hadiklaim, The Israel Date Growers Cooperative is, thus, at the forefront of category management, able to serve buyers as THE comprehensive source of dates and date products around the globe and throughout the year. "