Whether you call them Medjoul dates or Medjool dates, these rich succulent fruits are now ripe and the harvest has begun in Palestine.
The Medjoul date season is now in full swing in and around Jericho and other parts of the Palestinian Jordan Valley. The fruits have reached the ‘tamar’ stage where they turn from yellow to amber to a deep brown colour, signalling that they are ready to be harvested.
It’s a later harvest start than usual due to changing weather patterns but it’s looking like a bountiful one – the palms are laden with clusters of succulent dates that will be picked then sent to factories to be washed, sorted and then refrigerated for maximum freshness.
However, it’s a mixed bag of news. In addition to the worsening political situation, cost price inflation is impacting every aspect of the production and export process, from growing the fruit to packaging and packing it. To compound this, the value of the pound has plummeted and shipping costs have soared. All this poses challenges for the producers who have larger volumes to export.
MEDJOULS MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Once the backbone of the Palestinian economy, the contribution of agriculture to Palestine’s GDP has fallen from 28% to a mere 7%. The main reason for this decline has been the way in which the Israeli Occupation has deprived Palestinians of their own water resources in favour of diverting them to illegal settlements.
A case in point is the Jordan Valley, where banana and citrus farms once thrived. With access only to saline water and with no legal means to harvest rainwater, these have now all but disappeared.
For farmers facing the prospect of having to abandon farming altogether and potentially risk losing their land, Medjoul date farming has become a lifeline as date palms are able to withstand a certain level of water salinity. Despite it being a labour-intensive and costly activity, international demand for Palestinian Medjoul dates has supported the growth of this sector and exports now account for over 70% of production.
The Medjoul date sector is of huge significance to the local and national economy in Palestine. The employment opportunities it offers are far-reaching, going beyond those that are connected directly with the farming, harvesting, sorting and packing of the dates. It creates thousands of jobs across a number of other industries such as packaging, printing, refrigeration, storage, logistics and transport. This is why we choose to print and pack all our Medjoul dates in Palestine.
When you know the difference your purchase makes to producers, we’re sure it makes the Medjouls taste even more delicious and fudgy! Let us know if you agree!
Why choose Zaytoun Medjoul dates?
Great Tasting, ethically-sourced products
Our Medjoul dates are ethically sourced from Palestinian-owned farms in Jericho. They boast a luxurious, succulent texture and a caramel flavour. It’s no wonder they won a Great Taste Award!
A company with a mission
Zaytoun was founded 18 years ago to support the resilience of Palestinian producing communities through fair trade. We reinvest 100% of our profits into furthering that mission.
Fair trade provides a vital source of income for Palestinian growers in the Jordan Valley. For these growers, growing export markets for their produce supports them to retain their lands which are under daily threat from a military occupation and expanding illegal settlements.
Our regular visits to Palestine enable us to work closely with Palestinian growers and supply chains with whom we have established long-term relationships.
Agriculture is the best way for us to keep our land in the Jordan Valley, to preserve it, and to preserve its Palestinian identity.Momen Sinokrot, Palestine Gardens