Thursday, March 02, 2006

My Bouncing Ickle Boycott

I am lactose (dairy) intolerant. Some people have this problem to one degree or another, I am fortunate in that firstly I loathe cheese and secondly that my variant is a mild one compared to many.

What it does mean on a practical level is that you can annoy me immensely by waving chocolate (most 'plain' varieties of which do actually contain milk would you believe) at me, but also that I obviously cannot start the day with a bowl of cereal as most do without a 'substitute'.

I found one some time ago. Its called Lactolite, and as I pointed out when The Adventuress tagged me a while back to support the Danes it is made by none other than Arla Foods, the Danish Dairy company who have borne the brunt of the Arab economic boycott simply because they are the Danish firm with the most visible presence in the region. So I was happy to proclaim that I was already doing my bit to support a Danish firm in this difficult circumstance.

But then I discovered a problem. In the midst of floods of pro-Danish comments attached to Blogposts calling for Danish support, dissenting voices began cropping up. Support Denmark, those voices said, but not the companies being boycotted by their Arab customers. Because you see companies that want to do business with places like Saudi Arabia or the UAE have something in common. They have to, well, not to put too fine a point on it, boycott Israel, but not in the regular way. How it works is this:

A company wishing to do Arab business has to promise not to use Israeli labour or produce any goods whatsoever on Israeli soil, or use any technology exported by Israel. It has to promise not to use Israeli port or air facilities for transport - in short, to have nothing to do with Israel beyond selling its actual products to the Israelis. Companies have to sign a 'Certificate of Origin' to prove all this before they can do business with these arab countries.

Arla it appears are not afraid to add to this 'Certificate of Origin' nonsense even in the pettiest of ways to please their Arab market. They compound this kind of behaviour by grovelling at every opportunity, with a fixed smile and silent voice as their country of origin is subjected to the vitriol of these 'customers' of theirs. But hey, its just business, right?

Well, now I have to decided that Arla shall lose MY business because of their behaviour. So I have switched to another less tasty but perfectly adequate milk substitute called Alpro instead, and am composing a suitably snotty email to Arla.

Its my ickle personal boycott. My own. My precious Boycott. And anyone who has been buying up Arla products, please consider something similar, because when you do so you are supporting a Dhimmi company of the nastiest and most venal kind, not the Danes.

Do you know what? I fancy a bowl of cereal now before Downfall is on. Yummy ethical treats!


Blogger JohnM said...

Bear in mind that businesses have ways of getting around these kind of restrictions.

Take SAS. This company works throughout the Middle East and yet it sells to Israel. In fact it has a subsidiary in Israel (different name). I would be very surprised if Arla didn't do the same.

10:37 PM  

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