SodaStream changes labelling to ‘Made in the West Bank’
SodaStream has changed the labelling of products made in an Israeli settlement in the industrial zone of Ma'aleh Adumimm to 'Made in the West Bank' following complaints from a coalition of human rights activists in the US.
Fair trade activists complained to the Oregon Department of Justice in May 2014 that SodaStream was violating fair trade laws by labelling products made in occupied territory 'Made in Israel', according to a report by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. Under Oregon's fair trade laws, companies are banned from false advertising and can be held accountable for misleading packaging.
SodaStream immediately said it would change its labelling when it found out about the complaints. The new labels have since appeared on SodaStream packaging in Oregon stores.
The EU recently began labelling products produced in Israeli-occupied territory in the West Bank because the occupation is considered illegal under international law.
The Ma'aleh Adumim plant, which employs Palestinian workers, will move to Lehavim in Negev region of Israel later in 2015. The company has said the move is for 'purely commercial' reasons and not connected to pressure from pro-Palestinian groups.
SodaStream's revenue has grown an average of 30 per cent a year since 2008, but the company forecast a 9 per cent drop in 2014 as American consumers shifted their interest to more health-conscious brands. In response, SodaStream is launching a line of flavoured waters with low calories and added vitamins and minerals.