The Mehadrin Group, which claims to grow 75% of the produce it sells, appears to have replaced Agrexco as the dominant exporter of agricultural produce. A June 2011 Haaretz article reported that Granot, a union of avocado growers that had been one of Agrexco’s biggest suppliers, had signed a distribution agreement with Mehadrin and predicted that other growers would follow suit. The company described itself as “Israel’s largest grower and exporter of fresh produce” and “trusted by many of Europe’s best retail chains” in a recent press release.
Mehadrin Group company Mehadrin Tnuport Export (MTEX) reports to have yearly sales of around €145m, 70% of which is from exports, it says. The Mehadrin Group distributes its products through wholly owned companies in France, UK, Sweden and the Netherlands. The group recently announced plans to open a Swiss branch called Mehadrin Central Europe AG to market Mehadrin products in Switzerland and surrounding markets. The company sells a wide variety of Israeli fruits and vegetables and claims to also occasionally market South African and South American produce.
Mehadrin sources produce from growers in the illegal settlement of Beqa’ot in the Jordan Valley. When researchers from Corporate Watch visited Beqa’ot, they found the Mehadrin logo on a packing house and workers explained that Mehadrin has a monopoly on exports from the settlement. During interviews with researchers, workers went on to explain that they earned even less than the average Palestinian in the Valley, with workers mentioning wages as low as 56 NIS (€11) a day. Grapes and dates packaged in the settlement were all labelled ‘Produce of Israel’.
Through a subsidiary, Mehadrin owns 50% of Mirian Shoham, a company that packages and markets agricultural produce. Mirian Shoham has a packing house for mangos in the Israeli occupied Syrian Golan Heights. Several business listing websites list the registered offices of the company as being in Ramot in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights.
Mehadrin proudly boasts that it sells 65% of the famous Jaffa citrus fruit brand that is controlled by the Citrus Marketing Board of Israel. Norwegian researchers found Jaffa oranges packaged with the Mehadrin logo in the Massua settlement in the occupied Jordan Valley.
Mehadrin operates water wells and aquifers that help to provide Israeli farmers with 15 million cubic metres of water and “supplies millions of cubic metres of drinking water for domestic consumption through Mekorot”, the Israeli state water company that plays a key role in the theft of water from Palestinian communities in occupied Palestinian territory. Mehadrin’s role in providing water to farmers and its relationship with Mekorot make Mehadrin directly complicit with Israel’s discriminatory water policies.
The Mehadrin Group is partly owned by IDM, a conglomerate whose other companies are involved in the construction of Israel’s Apartheid Wall, among other things.
For more information on the Mehadrin Group’s corporate structure, see: http://www.whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=967
 Corporate Watch’s full article on Mehadrin: http://corporateoccupation.wordpress.com/2010/ 05/18/mehadrins-business-in-beqaot-settlement-and-tescos-complicity
 Private correspondence with Norwegian activists from Boykot Israel group. Photographs available on request.
 For more on Israel’s discriminatory water policies, see Amnesty International, Thirsting for Justice: Palestinian Access to Water http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE15/028/2009/en