Coop Sweden stops all purchases of Soda Stream carbonation devices
On July 19 the Swedish News Agency (TT) reported that Coop has decided to terminate all purchases of Soda Stream carbonation devices after it was revealed that they are still produced in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt). Selling products from occupied territories disputes Coop's own ethical standard as well as Global Compact, the UN ethical guidelines for businesses.
The Palestine Solidarity Association of Sweden (PGS) welcomes Coop's decision. It means that Coop has finally heeded the call for a boycott of Soda Stream as long as the company contributes to crimes against international law. The fact that Coop stops its purchases of Soda Stream is an important precedent for other retailers of Soda Stream, says Anna Wester, Information Officer at PGS.
An internal letter to PGS from Magnus Nelin, Press Officer of Coop, states: "During the last week attention has once again been on Soda Stream and that information indicates that we have not received a complete and correct information."
Coop states that the decision comes after a report on national Swedish television Channel 4 that among other things revealed that Empire, the Swedish importer of Soda Stream devices, are aware that they are produced in a factory located in the illegal settlement of Maale Addumim. Coop has demanded that a third part investigation will be implemented to review the matter further.
During the past two years The Palestine Solidarity Association of Sweden has brought to the attention of Coop and other distributors of Soda Stream devices that they are produced entirely or partly in oPt. PGS has collected evidence of Coop Supermarkets marketing Soda Stream devices that do not originate from China as Coop repeatedly has claimed, but from the factory in the illegal settlement. These findings correspond with what the Israeli corporate watchdog project Who Profits revealed in a substantial research published in January 2011.
Further claims from Soda Stream, Empire or retailers that the production has moved or is in the final stages of moving out from oPt are yet to be corroborated by any evidence and are irrelevant in regard to internationally recognized ethical standards as long as the Soda Stream factory in oPt remains in whatever capacity.