Sunday, September 11, 2011

Max Brenner and the Strauss Group: yes, Brenner is an Israeli owned company

Dear friends,
some of you may have seen the report in the Sydney Morning Herald on the recent BDS action outside of Max Brenner in Newtown in Sydney (you can read the article here)

In the article, the chief executive of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, Vic Alhadeff, is quoted as criticising the BDS protest saying:

''Why are these extremists targeting a legitimate Australian-owned business?''

I have also had a couple of people ask me for clarification on this, so here is some information that may be useful (as far as I can ascertain, Brenner is not a franchise but is a subsidiary of Strauss - that is it is owned and controlled by Strauss)

Max Brenner Chocolate has been a focus for BDS action in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane because it is owned by the Strauss Group — one of Israel’s largest food and beverage companies, which actively supports Israel's military occupation forces. On its website, the Strauss Group emphasizes its support for the Israeli military, providing care packages, sports and recreational equipment, books and games for soldiers.

Strauss boasts support for the Golani and Givati Brigades, which were heavily involved in Israel’s military assault on the Gaza Strip in the Winter of 2008-09, which resulted in the killing of approximately 1,400 Palestinians, the majority civilians, including approximately 350 children. While Strauss has removed information about their support for the Golani and Givati brigades from their English language website, information about the company’s support for both brigades remains on their Hebrew language site.

In solidarity, Kim


According to Bloomberg Business week: "Max Brenner International Inc. operates as a restaurant that focuses on chocolate products. Its menu includes chocolate waffles and crepes, fondues, sweets, desserts, ice creams, hot chocolate drinks, choctails, cocktails, smoothies, coffee and tea, appetizers, entree salads, sandwiches, breakfast, brunch cocktails, chocolate martinis, and wine. The company also offers chocolate products for kids. It offers its products through stores, as well as online. Max Brenner, Ltd. was founded in 1996 and is based in New York, New York. It has locations in the United States, Australia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Israel. Max Brenner International Inc. operates as a subsidiary of Strauss Group Ltd. (Bloomberg Business Week published on Sept 4, 2011, click here for article)

Max Brenner's Australian website on its contact page states: "Please note that all Australian Max Brenner Chocolate Bars are company owned and we do not currently franchise" (see contact page here)

When you go to the Strauss global website - it states on its front page that Strauss is "one company with 5 businesses" and then list the 5 business, one of which being Max Brenner (click here)

Strauss corporate structure is also listed on the Strauss global website and it clearly notes that Brenner is part of their company, including the companies in Australia (click here)

Also other links about Strauss/Max Brenner

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