Welcome to Zaytoun SA
It's time for the Palestinian annual olive harvest....
The olive tree is a national symbol for Palestinians. As thousands of olive trees have been bulldozed, uprooted, burned and destroyed by Israeli settlers and the military – according to the UN settlers alone destroyed or damaged over 7,500 trees just in 2012 – harvesting has become more than a source of livelihood; it has become a form of resistance.
The olive harvest is an annual affirmation of Palestinians’ historical, spiritual, and economic connection to their land, and a rejection of Israeli efforts to seize it.
Despite attempts by Israeli settlers and soldiers to prevent them from accessing their land, Palestinian communities have remained steadfast in refusing to give up their olive harvest.
Farming is the core economic activity in Palestine and historically & culturally represents Palestinians connection to their land.
It is therefore culturally appropriate to Empower Palestinian farming communities through the concept of TRADE NOT AID and more so the Fairtrade and Ethical trading patterns adopted by Zaytoun SA.
Farming serves as a symbol of what Palestine is as land, as home, a central place of activity in people’s lives and a core component of their heritage and political and socio economic identity.
Zaytoun is a non profit entity that aims to support marginalised and oppressed farming communities in Palestine earn the dignity of a sustained income.
We envisage creating a secure & sustained trade route between Palestine and South Africa so as to gradually increase product demand and impact of support provided to Palestinian economy and more importantly impact on individual farmers, their families and communities.
At present we are working in partnership with the Palestinian Fairtrade Association in order to source olive oil and other Palestinian delicacies like zatar and maftoul from more than 34 farmer and women’s co operatives across 44 villages in the West Bank.
The olive harvest is traditionally a time of celebration as families harvest their olives not only to secure their annual olive oil supply for the year, but to sell on the open market so others can purchase their olive oil supply. Olive farmers and their families set aside their other responsibilities to work together across generations to bring this labour intensive period to fruition.
Call to action: Join ISM for the 2013 Olive Harvest Campaign
Sadly, it’s also a time of regular & increased settler violence in the West Bank; the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) is issuing an urgent call for volunteers to join us for the 2013 Olive Harvest Campaign at the invitation of Palestinian communities.
ISM volunteers join Palestinian farming communities each year to harvest olives, in areas where Palestinians face settler and military violence when working their land. Your presence can make a big difference, with Palestinian communities stating that the presence of international volunteers reduces the risk of extreme violence from Israeli settlers and the Israeli army.
We support Palestinians’ assertion of their right to earn their livelihoods and be present on their lands. International solidarity activists engage in non-violent intervention and documentation, practical support which enables many families to pick their olives.
The campaign will begin mid October and will last around 5-7 weeks. We request a minimum 2 week commitment from volunteers but stress that long-termers are needed as well. We ask that volunteers start arriving in the first week of October, so that we will be prepared when the harvest begins.
Please visit for more information as documented by the United Nations on last year’s Olive harvest in the West Bank.
Join us in our solidarity with the Palestinian resistance at this crucial time of year! We look forward to bringing you the fresh taste of Palestinian olive oil and olives directly from the farmlands of the West bank to your home in South Africa.
Tel: 084 676 7860
Support through TRADE, not just aid