Road Trip in Northern Palestine – Canaan Fair Trade – A Commercial and Community Success

On June 12, the three northern EAPPI teams — Yanoun, Jayyous and Tulkarm — met in Burqin to visit a number of important places and to enrich our knowledge of this part of the West Bank.

We visited Canaan Fair Trade and St. George’s Church in Burqin, The Freedom Theatre in the Jenin Refugee Camp, and the historic town of Sabastiya.

Our first stop was Canaan Fair Trade in a rural area west of Jenin, Palestine ( Founder and Director Nasser Abu Farha created a commercial success from a dream – to support local farmers during difficult economic and political times and supply the world with the finest cold press extra virgin olive oil.


Manal Abdallah, Promotion and Media Coordinator, welcomed us and led us on an informative tour of this spotless production facility. Over 1,700 farmers belonging to fair trade cooperatives in the northern West Bank send their olives to Canaan for processing.

Here are photos from the olive oil production line:

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Once pressed, the oil is placed in large stainless steel tanks.  The virgin oil goes into these tanks before moving to the bottling and packaging line:


The extra virgin oil goes into these refrigerated thanks and is keep at 16 degrees to maintain freshness and quality.


Manal is holding a bottle destined for sale in Great Briton.


And now the oil is ready to ship to 18 countries around the world. Proceeds from each bottle contribute to the Trees For Life program in Palestine where over 1,700 olive trees have been replanted on their historic lands.  Canaan also funds 10 scholarships a year for children of farmers who could not otherwise attend university.


A visit to Canaan’s showroom wouldn’t be complete without a taste testing of the various products. And included in this quartet is a group photo of the northern teams with their shepherds/drivers/body guards/trainers.

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And displayed above is our very own Zatoun oil, distributed by Zeit Zatoun in Toronto.

Owner Robert Massoud donates proceeds from the sale of Zatoun products to Project Hope in Nablus, West Bank, for education programs for children and youth in Nablus and surrounding communities.

It was through Robert’s kindness that we were able to arrange the visit with Canaan. Hope to see you in Toronto this fall Robert.

Next in the northern road trip series: a visit to 1,800 year-old St. George’s Church in Burqin.






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2 Responses to Road Trip in Northern Palestine – Canaan Fair Trade – A Commercial and Community Success

  1. Joyce W says:

    Interesting post about Canaan Fair Trade. Zatoun Olive Oil is the best and available at Just Gifts at Emmanuel on October 26! Thanks for telling us about this community success and reminding us of products we should buy.

    • Hi Joyce, Canaan also produces a variety of other products that Robert doesn’t bring to Canada – olive spreads and tapanades, almonds coated in various ways (delicious), and of course, one of my favourites – zatar (thyme, sesame seed and sumac) that you dip your bread into after dipping in olive oil. Can’t wait for Just Gifts !!!

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