The SodaStream carbonator is one of the products targeted as part of the boycott of Israel. Not only does the Coop have over $150,000/year in gross revenues from the sale of SodaStream products, we are also collectively keeping over half a million soda bottles out of the waste stream.
SodaStream has 18 production and filling sites worldwide, with the primary one located in Mishor Adumim, part of Zone C, an area designated as under Israeli control according to the Oslo accords, and its final status is to be determined through negotiations. Despite claims to the contrary, there is nothing illegal about neither the factory nor its exports.
The Mishor Adumim facility was built on deserted land leased in 1998. In the event that this area will be transferred to the new State of Palestine, it will be for the new authority to decide if they want to keep this plant, which employs hundreds of Palestinians. It is a good business and would likely just end up paying taxes to the new entity and continue on. If asked, SodaStream will close this plant.
The SodaStream factory employs 300 Palestinian workers from the local villages, who earn 4 to 6 times more than they would where they live. They get social benefits – medical, maternity leave, etc., which is unheard of in their villages. Independent auditing companies have found the working conditions, compensation plan and general employee atmosphere to be excellent. Each worker is providing for the needs of approximately 10 people on his/her salary. Those who wish to shut down the Mishor Adumim plant do not have the Palestinian workers' best interests at heart.
Rather than targeted, SodaStream should be recognized for its positive contribution to the welfare of its employees and for bringing people from different and often opposing backgrounds to work together in peace and harmony. Palestinians, Israeli Arabs and Jews, Ethiopians, Russians, Americans and Bedouins, all work together, under one roof, at the same production lines. SodaStream brings work to an area with more than 30% unemployment. Investment and development of the economy is the engine that will bring peace to the region.
Please come to the March General Meeting and vote NO on holding the BDS referendum.