Stolen Beauty welcomes potential Ahava move

Israeli cosmetics company considers move

Israeli cosmetics company Ahava has confirmed rumours that it is considering moving its manufacturing plant from Israel's West Bank. The news has been welcomed by campaign group Stolen Beauty.

The announcement comes shortly after the European Union made moves to force companies to label any products made in West Bank settlements, and after many years of protest and boycott aimed at the Israeli firm. A spokesperson from Ahava stated: "Due to expanding production needs and changes in regulations for manufacturing cosmetic products in certain Western countries, Ahava is examining the option of setting up another factory."

Last week, the brand cancelled a 'Twitter party' it had planned to hold online after protesters planned to hijack the event. The Ahava spokesperson said that one of the new locations Ahava is considering is in the Tamar Regional Council inside the Green Line. However, they added: "Other alternatives are being investigated. No decision has yet been taken to open the additional plant.

Stolen Beauty has been targeting Ahava since 2009, because of "the illegality of its practices," Nancy Kricorian, Campaign Manager at Stolen Beauty, told Cosmetics Business: "We welcome the news that they are considering moving their manufacturing facility out of an illegal West Bank settlement. This is a clear indication of the growing power of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) movement, which is scoring new victories every day."

Ahava stopped selling its products in the UK late last year and has recently closed two of its seven Israeli stores.

However, Stolen Beauty was not ready to drop its boycott of Ahava products. Kricorian added: "While moving out of Mitzpe Shalem will address one of Ahava's violations of international law, there would still remain the issues of the pillage of occupied natural resources and the subsidies to the two illegal settlements that are co-owners of the enterprise." Yet, the group's reaction to the news was still overwhelmingly positive. Kricorian added: "That said, when Ahava's plant and visitor centre in the occupied West Bank are definitively shuttered, I'm going to throw a party."