Palestinian Olive Oil

The Madison-Rafah Sister City Project is taking orders for Holy Land Olive Oil, an extra-virgin, cold-pressed olive oil imported directly from Palestinian growers.

If you would like to purchase some oil, contact Veena, veena.brekke at gmail.com or 608-332-8745. The current prices are

  • $15 for the 500-mL bottle ($84 for six)
  • $20 for the 750-ml bottle ($112 for six)

Delivery may be available for larger orders in the Madison area.

Palestinian farmers, whose income has been devastated by Israeli policies of occupation and closure, are having great difficulty selling their produce. Neither Jordan nor Israel, the two natural markets, will accept the oil which is now the only source of income for many people. The oil is fresh and flavorful and in the process of organic certification.

This olive oil is supplied in cooperation with the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC). PARC is a not-for-profit organization that develops and markets Palestinian agricultural products. PARC pays farmers a fair price, and gives priority to farmers whose land is under threat of confiscation or affected by the wall, as described by Rev. K. Jeanne Person from New York.

West Bank farmers struggle to find a market for their oil because, as a form of economic collective punishment, Israel prohibits the sale of olive oil from the West Bank inside Israel. An added irony is that Israel has an annual olive oil deficit of 14,000 tons, whereas the West Bank has a surplus of 25,000 tons.

The following co-ops supply oil for Holy Land Olive Oil:

  • The Organic Cooperative of Keereh, Salfit area
  • The Cooperative of Koufer-eh-Deek, Ramallah area
  • The Oil Cooperative of Bedeah, Salfit area
  • The Cooperative of Beit Reema, Ramallah area
  • National Cooperative Association of Taybeh, Ramallah

Holy Land Olive Oil certifies that all oil is of West Bank origin and makes available a “Certificate of Origin” issued by the Palestinian National Authority to that effect.

Buyers in Madison have been impressed with the oil’s quality and flavor. The oil is “Extra Virgin,” complying with new International Olive Oil Council standards for acidity of less than 0.8%. The oil has a beautiful brilliant-green color and a freshness that you can literally taste: nutty with a little sharpness or bite – particularly in the finish – typical of fresh oil.

We are looking for volunteers to help expand this project; anyone interested in working on it please contact us.

If you are interested in ordering, send an e-mail to veena.brekke at gmail.com with the number of bottles. The current price is $15 for a 500-mL bottle, or $84 for a box of six. Delivery can be arranged in the Madison area.

For more information about Holy Land Olive Oil, please visit: http://www.palestineoliveoil.org/