We are still waiting for the Release of Taybeh Wine and Beer from the LCBO

Perhaps you would like to ask the LCBO and CFIA why!

Purchased by LCBO, these quality beers and wines from Taybeh arrived in Canada mid-July 2019.

Taybeh Beer (Amber, Dark, Golden, IPA and White)

Nadim Wine by Taybeh (2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2015 Merlot, 2017 Syrah, 2018 Sauvignon Blac, and Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Grand Reserve)

Labels had been pre-approved by the LCBO. The product was made ready through the usual LCBO testing and administrative procedure; and on August 2, 2019 was ready to be released under the LCBO World Destination Program and to those who had made private orders.

Then on August 6, 2019, after the court ruling that wine from Israeli settlements could NOT be labeled as “product of Israel,” the LCBO contacted Palestine Just Trade, the exclusive agent for Taybeh in Canada to indicate the order of Taybeh wine and beer were being put on hold “due to the court ruling.”

Dimitri Lascaris who is acting as legal counsel for Palestine Just Trade wrote about this in a blog, “Canadian Food Inspection Agency Coddles the Oppressors, Victimizes the Oppressed.” Read the full details HERE.

Taybeh is based in Ramallah in the West Bank, which is formally under the control of the Palestinian Authority. None of Taybeh’s products are produced in Israel’s illegal settlements. The court case, which subsequently has been appealed by the Canadian government, has nothing to do with products from Palestine. It is specific to wines from Israeli settlements considered illegal under international law and according to Canadian policy.

Over the last several months, a number of people have contacted the LCBO and CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency), however as far as we have heard, responses have not been received from either agency based on what people have indicated.

At this point, the Taybeh products continues to held by the LCBO, while Palestine Just Trade Inc. waits to hear if the product will be released.

You can read more about THE DISCRIMINATORY HOLD in the following articles:

Electronic Intifada, September 11, 2019 by Nora Barrows-Friedman

Palestine Chronicle, September 12, 2019 by Marion Kawas

Modoweiss, September 11, 2019 by Marion Kawas

Under the Olive Tree, interview, September 24

Over the years a number of Canadian media and others have covered the Taybeh brewery and winery. Read more in following articles:

The Toronto Star, 2008 (detailed early attempts to export to Canada)

CTV News, 2014

Vice, 2013

Travel Media Association of Canada (First Place in Best Food and Drink Feature)

Quench, 2019

The Catholic Register, 2014

Al Jazeera, 2017 (into US market)

The Guardian, 2005

The Telegraph, 2016 (first middle eastern beer maker)

The Times of Israel, 2016

Financial Times, 2015

Read more about Taybeh arrival into Canada:

Taybeh is HERE, but on HOLD by LCBO as Directed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)

The World Destination Program of the LCBO arranged to include five Nadim wines by Taybeh, and five varieties of Taybeh beer earlier this year. The product arrived in Canada, and was ready for release in early August when notification came that the product was being put on hold.

Earlier this month, just as shipments were ready to go to local LCBO stores for private order pick up, as well as to be put onto the e-commerce channel for offering through the LCBO World Destination Program, the LCBO informed Palestine Just Trade that “due to the recent decision by the Federal Court regarding labeling requirements for wines from this region, we have placed these products on hold.”

Today, August 28, 2019, Dimitri Lascaris, legal counsel for Palestine Just Trade sent a letter to the President of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and copied the LCBO on it. You can read the letter HERE. An accompanying list of alcohol products listed for sale in Canada with the label “product of Israel” that are known to be from Israeli settlements considered illegal by international law can be seen HERE.

In our letter today we indicated to the CFIA with copy to the LCBO that “we are at a loss to understand how the CFIA can continue to allow the sale of wines from territory occupied by Israel to be sold in Canada with false Product of Israel labels even as the LCBO prevents the sale of Taybeh products which are accurately labelled.” We indicated that “the manner in which the CFIA and LCBO are dealing with accurately labelled Taybeh products, and falsely labelled products from Israeli settlements in occupied territory is plainly discriminatory.”

Palestine Just Trade is excited to have joined with Taybeh to have made the first import of product to Canada, and look forward to Nadim wines by Taybeh and Taybeh beers being available for purchase for the first time in Canada very shortly.