Thursday, July 13, 2017

Canada Attempts to Halt Flow of Shiloh Wine

Shiloh is in the news, as is our wine [see Update below]:

LCBO CRACKS DOWN ON SALE OF ISRAELI WINESBy Ron Csillag, Staff Reporter -  July 13, 2017

In a replay of controversies seen in Europe, a federal agency in Canada has called for an end to the labelling of wine made in the West Bank as a “Product of Israel.”

The directive from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) came to light via the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO), which has asked its sacramental wine vendors to stop importing and selling wines labelled “Product of Israel” that are made in the West Bank and other “occupied” territories.

In a July 11 letter that lit up social media, the LCBO’s corporate affairs office requested that sacramental wine vendors – independent sellers who order wine used in religious ceremonies through the LCBO – stop any importation or sale of bottles labelled as a “Product of Israel” from two West Bank wineries, “or others located in the same region, until further notice.”

The LCBO says it is following a July 6 notification from the CFIA regarding products from the two Israeli wineries.

“The CFIA clarified that ‘Product of Israel’ would not be an acceptable country of origin declaration for wine products that have been made from grapes that are grown, fermented, processed, blended and finished in the West Bank and occupied territory,” states the letter to vendors from Vincent Caron, a policy advisor at the LCBO.

Named in the LCBO directive are the Psagot Winery in Psagot, north of Jerusalem, and the Shiloh Winery in Ma’ale Levona, a West Bank settlement southeast of Ariel.

Critics have angrily denounced the move as bowing to the international boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israeli products made in lands captured in 1967.

Canadians for Justice & Peace in the Middle East, a pro-BDS group, has in the past placed stickers on Israeli wines, advising consumers not to purchase them.

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) said it is “important to note that this does not appear to reflect government policy...”

The Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center says it is contesting the move with both government bodies. “We consider any action which promotes the so-called BDS campaign against Israel as anti-Semitic. This would be out of step with the existing government policy, which has vigorously condemned the BDS campaign,” president and CEO Avi Benlolo said in a statement...

Yaakov Berg, Psagot Winery’s CEO, said he was “amazed” at Canada’s decision.

“We are living in Judea and Samaria by historic right,” Berg told the Times of Israel on July 12. “Canada, of all places, which was established and developed on basis of occupying and sacrificing the homeland of another people and which has no roots or historical validity to its existence there, doesn’t recognize the right of a Jew to live and cultivate vines on land inherited from his forefathers?”

I have been advised that

The legal basis of the LCBO's letter is mistaken. The non-recognition of sovereignty does not have any direct implications for labeling, or make labeling misleading. Indeed, a French appellate court and the UK Supreme Court have held that "Made in Israel" labeling for Judea & Samaria goods is not misleading under comparable labeling requirements. Thus the EU labels products from West Sahara "Made in Morocco" while not recognizing Moroccan sovereignty.

And

B'nai Brith Expects Disturbing Canadian Food Inspection Agency 

Decision Against Israeli Wines to Be Reversed Soon



UPDATE

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) regrets the outcome of the wine labelling assessment which led to the Liquor Control Board of Ontario's (LCBO) response regarding products from two wineries labelled as "Product of Israel".
In our assessment, we did not fully consider the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA).
Further clarification of the CIFTA (Article 1.4.1b) indicates that these wines adhere to the Agreement and therefore we can confirm that the products in question can be sold as currently labelled.
The CFIA will be following up with the LCBO to correct our original response.

^

2 comments:

Doodad said...

Decision reversed

http://www.inspection.gc.ca/product-of-israel-wine-labelling/eng/1499970240524/1499970592331

L, King said...

Hooray! Though not a big consumer of wine I specifically look for wines produced in the Golan and Judea and Samaria for home use and gifts. I'm not "fooled" by the label at all - I'm encouraged by it.