Backgrounder: Why Boycott Pillsbury?

Pillsbury_Atarot.pngUpdate: On May 31, 2022, General Mills announced that it was fully divesting from its subsidiary in Israel, following the two-year boycott campaign. While it is not yet clear if Pillsbury products will still be allowed to be produced in the factory through a different licensing arrangement, we agree with the following statement from the American Friends Service Committee:

“General Mills’ divestment shows that public pressure works even on the largest of corporations,” said Noam Perry of AFSC’s Economic Activism program. “With this move, General Mills is joining many other American and European companies that have divested from Israel’s illegal occupation, including Microsoft and Unilever just in the last couple of years. We call on all companies to divest from Israel’s illegal and brutal occupation of Palestine, and from the apartheid system it is part of. We congratulate General Mills on this decision and hope this is the first step in cutting all its ties to Israeli apartheid and toward respecting universal human rights.”


Pillsbury, which is owned by General Mills, has a factory in the Atarot Industrial Zone, an illegal Israeli settlement in occupied East Jerusalem, near Ramallah. This territory was illegally occupied by Israel in 1967, which later illegally claimed to annex it in 1980.

The United Nations Human Rights Office has criticized General Mills for its presence in Atarot, listing it in a database of business enterprises that are active in illegal Israeli settlements. This UN database categorizes General Mills as a company that exploits “natural resources [in occupied territory], in particular water and land, for business purposes.” This activity is contrary to international law, and contributes to Israel’s ongoing theft of Palestinian land and natural resources.

In April 2021, five members of the Pillsbury family published a letter announcing that they “have no choice but to join this boycott of the very brand our family worked so hard to build”:

As long as General Mills continues to profit from the dispossession and suffering of the Palestinian people, we will not buy any Pillsbury products. We call on General Mills to stop doing business on occupied land. And we call on all people of good conscience and all socially responsible organizations across the globe to join in boycotting Pillsbury products until General Mills stops this illegal and immoral practice.

Like Palestinians, the Pillsbury family, and many conscientious consumers, CJPME joins the call for a boycott of Pillsbury Products until it stops operating in illegal Israel settlements.

 

What action can you take?

Click here for the sign-up page for FREE “Boycott Pillsbury” sticky notes, and then go and place them on Pillsbury Products in your local store! The image was designed by Carlos Latuff for CJPME.

Download this pre-written letter and mail it to General Mills Canada, to let them know that you will be boycotting all Pillsbury products as long as General Mills continues to produce products in occupied Palestinian territory.

Check out BoycottPillsbury.org for more information.