The Galilean Flavor of Business for Peace
Sindyanna of Galilee is a female-led non-profit that actively promotes the concepts of “business for peace” and Fair Trade in Israel. We achieve this by selling Arab producers’ olive oil and other premium products in the international marketplace according to Fair Trade principles, and then channeling all of the profits back into Arab women education.
Established in 1996, Sindyanna of Galilee is the only certified fair-trade olive oil producer in Israel that operates among the country’s Arab population bringing deep functional expertise and a practical approach to build capabilities and deliver real impact. The work we do aims to bridge cultural divides, encourage sustainable agriculture, and support organic farming.
Our staff consists of Arab and Jewish women who share a vision of peaceful coexistence, and work towards this goal side by side with skill, care, and a passion for the craft. Among our fair trade products are organic and extra virgin olive oils, za’atar spice mixes, carob syrup, almonds, honey, olive oil soaps, and various traditional handicrafts.
Platform for Change
Sindyanna of Galilee offers access to education and economic opportunities, alongside agricultural and financial advice, to Arab women and to some 200 local Arab olive oil producers from the Galilee, forming an important platform for change. We ignite economic activity, enable Jews and Arabs to support each other in the process, and bring it full circle to empower women to be at the forefront of creating social cohesion and supporting Arab communities.
Our Name and First Seed
Dating back to 1993, the initial idea underpinning the establishment of Sindyanna of Galilee was to help Arab farmers market their produce. So, we began by packaging and marketing olive oil in a small room in Majd al-Krum, an Arab town located in the Upper Galilee in Israel’s North District.
The name we chose – Sindyanna of Galilee (سنديانة الجليل) – corresponds to the most common tree in the Galilee, the Palestine oak (quercus calliprinos) that is renowned in local culture for its rootedness to the land, longevity, evergreen foliage, and endurance.
This “first seed” began to flourish and bear fruit as we began forming strong ties with other potential market participants, starting from Arab oil producers to local artisanal producers of food and handicrafts, and from the local market, through the World Fair Trade Organization, to the international market.
In 2005, we moved from our tiny room in the village of Majd al-Krum, to a bigger and more modern warehouse, located in Kufr Kana (Kana of Galilee) near Nazareth. Thus, we have grown gradually, and enriched our product offerings. For our activities, we were awarded the “Outstanding Exporter” Award by the Israeli government.
Fair Trade Products as an Instrument for a Better Future
From our center in Kana of Galilee near Nazareth, we export our fair trade products worldwide. We combine commercial activity with community work in a way that is thoroughly integrated with our lives. As we grow, we remain true to our starting point and “first seed”, by continuing to look to the strategy and needs of our partner, small scale, artisanal Arab producers and Arab women in particular, for our inspiration and challenge.
Olive Groves and Projects
Over the years Sindyanna of Galilee has initiated a number of projects that promote our core values of reclamation, modernization of traditional Arab farming and agriculture, women empowerment, Jewish-Arab coexistence and fair trade.
In cooperation with other local organizations, we transformed a derelict firing range, which was unapproachable for many years, into Israel’s first flourishing Jewish-Arab organic olive grove that is poised to produce oil that will be sold all over the world. This olive grove will allow us to oversee the entire value chain from root to bottle.
We also built a beautiful Visitors Center in Kufr Kana in the Galilee as a place where Jewish and Arab women work in equality and mutual respect. The center welcomes tourists from abroad as well as Israelis, while serving as a meeting place for Jews and Arabs. Its spaces are suitable for a wide range of activities. The Center has been beautifully furnished using recycled wood from nearby factories.
A Gratifying Award-Winning Experience
International and local awards attest to the quality, flavor and excellence of our kosher organic and extra virgin olive oils. Still, the best prize of all remains the highly gratifying experience of developing the local olive industry while enhancing the livelihood of Arab women and supporting numerous opportunities for coexistence.
We thank you for supporting this vision and invite you to be part of our story.