Zaytoun was founded in 2004 to support the resilience and livelihoods of Palestinian farmers under occupation through fairly trading their olive oil. Initially funded by hundreds of customers who put up payment in advance of receiving their oil, Zaytoun quickly established itself as a UK social enterprise.
With funding from Triodos Bank the company developed to offer a wide range of Palestinian artisan foods, and supported Palestinian farmers to pioneer the world’s first Fairtrade certified olive oil in 2009, sold through the UK market.
Any profits Zaytoun makes are invested in product development in partnership with their suppliers; in local support projects run by farmer organisations; in acquiring more stock; and in helping support a volunteer harvesting team.
Wherever possible, Zaytoun ensures that all labelling and packaging takes place in the Palestinian Territories, consequently creating further employment opportunities in a region saddled with chronic unemployment and poverty.
The products are both a celebration and an affirmation of deep-rooted Palestinian culture, so important to a people whose isolation is imposed by a military occupation.
The products also help to build bonds beyond barriers of faith; Jewish, Muslim and Christian groups have ordered Zaytoun’s oil for their places of worship and to sell at local stalls as part of a positive message of inter-faith peace promotion.