The Holy Land Olive Oil Story
It all started with an email from Ta’ayush, (an Arab-Jewish partnership in Israel working for peace and against the Occupation) which urged local Bay Area activists to buy Palestinian olive oil from an agricultural cooperative in the West Bank.
Buying olive oil from Palestine was no small undertaking. After some back and forth between a few group members, we decided to import a test shipment. Various Bay Area peace and justice groups came together to help with marketing and distribution.
Three shipments were made with an all-volunteer crew, before some of us decided to create a self-sustaining business enterprise, Holy Land Olive Oil.
We knew that this would be a challenging undertaking because of the way the occupation effects every aspect of life in Palestine. This not only includes the harassment the farmers experience cultivating and harvesting their olives, but also the restrictions on movement that complicate getting the olives to press. Transporting the oil out of the West Bank to Israeli ports and eventually to the U.S. is also subject to unexpected delays and difficulties. Despite these obstacles, Holy Land Olive Oil is proud to be the first company in the U.S. whose product displays a “Product of Palestine” label.