(Photo: Boikott Israel-kampanjen i Bergen)
The Norwegian retailer VITA announced on Friday they will no longer carry products made by Ahava, citing a decision to stop selling all settlement products produced in occupied Palestine. VITA’s decision to boycott the settlement company comes one month after a major Japanese retailer cut ties with the cosmetic company. Since 2007 Codepink’s Stolen Beauty campaign has targeted Ahava for their role in profiting from the Israeli occupation.
Today the Norwegian People’s Aid and the Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees posted the victory:
Norwegian retail chain VITA made public on Friday their decision to stop all sales of products originating from settlements in occupied Palestine. VITA will therefore stop selling products from the cosmetics brand Ahava. VITA has been the main retailer of Ahava products in Norway, and this decision will be a serious blow to the sales of Ahava products in Norway.
The principled decision by VITA not to buy products from Israeli settlements in the West Bank is based on a position of not wanting to contribute to violations of international law. This is also the position of Norgesgruppen, a company holding 49% of the shares in VITA. BAMA, another Norgesgruppen company has implemented the same policy regarding Israeli fruit and vegetables for several years already.
The VITA decision comes after a period of active lobbying from Norwegian People’s Aid and the Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees (Fagforbundet), providing VITA and VITA’s owners with information about Ahava and their production in the Mitzpe Shalem settlement. Activists in Norway have also focused on Ahava and will now launch a new campaign to have other stores follow VITA’s example.