Spinneys reaffirms goods ban after Israeli products found in Lebanon
Spinneys reiterated Wednesday its commitment to the boycott on the importing of Israeli goods to the region and apologized for the recent discovery of food items labeled as products of the Jewish state at one of its outlets in Lebanon.
“Spinney’s, in all Arab countries that it operates in ... adheres to implementing regulations regarding the boycott on the importing of Israeli products and it has never been accused of breaching [the ban],” the retailer, one of Lebanon’s largest, said in a statement.
The statement comes a day after a shopper in the southern coastal city of Sidon discovered Israeli goods on sale at one of the company’s outlets.
The Lebanese shopper, who preferred to remain anonymous, told The Daily Star that he discovered a bag of three kinds of peppers made in Israel at a Spinneys branch in the southern coastal city of Sidon.
Members of military intelligence and police arrived at Spinneys to discover 13 similar bags that had the word “Israel” printed on the sale tag.
Police also noticed that the international bar code for the items was scratched with a blue pen and a new code was handwritten on the bag.
The case was then referred to the military judiciary for investigation into how the products made it through the customs department at the port or the airport.
Spinneys apologized Wednesday over the incident in Sidon and said difficulty in spotting the label on the item had allowed it to enter the country undetected.
“Regrettably, one of the three peppers inside a small number plastic bags had a label stating that it was a product of Israel and neither staff at Spinneys, merchants in Holland or at Lebanon’s Customs spotted the label because it was inside the packaging and was difficult to spot,” Spinneys said in its statement.
Spinneys said the peppers originated in Spain and that an order for them was placed on Dec. 17, 2012, to Dutch food and vegetable distributor Roveg Fruit B.V. The firm said the shipment of the peppers was received in Lebanon on Dec. 29.
It said the items were shipped by Middle East Airlines from Amsterdam and that customs had inspected the goods as per regulation.