11th of December: Olive Oil and Za’atar

Olive OilA perfect present for compassionated cooks here. This olive oil is made by a community interest company called Zaytoun who are trying to create a UK market for Palestinian products. Life for many Palestinians is unstable and made difficult by economic as well as political problems. Zaytoun aim to provide a regular and fair income to marginalised olive farmers (click here for more information on life for Palestinian olive farmers).

Also included with the olive oil is a packet of za’atar. As anyone with Yotam Ottolenghi’s book Jerusalem will know, za’atar can be quite tricky to get hold of in this country despite being a delicious way to liven up many dishes. Zaytoun’s za’atar is sourced from a women’s cooperative in Jenin and wild-harvested. Encouraging women’s work to be profitable is one of the easiest ways to lift women out of oppression and poverty. Buying this olive oil and za’atar not only ensures that the farmers and producers get a fair price for the product it also strengthens the middle east peace process by bringing greater economic stability to Palestine and through the work of the partners Zaytoun works with. Who could ask for more for Christmas?

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