TREES FOR LIFE SPONSORSHIP: Help plant 12,000 olive trees in Palestine November 27, 2009

Trees for Life: Planting Peace in Palestine
Tens of thousands of olive tree sapling will be planted in Palestine every year beginning in December through February.

Zatoun in Canada has partnered with the PFTA to create “Trees for Life” to help farmers recover from the enormous destruction of olive trees to Israeli settlers and army including devastating losses to the illegal Annexation Wall. The goal is to provide individual farmers with 25 to 50 olive tree saplings to replant or to help start in another location.

The program aims to serve farmers in greatest need: farmers who have had trees destroyed or lost access to land; small farmers with not enough trees to sustain their family; farms headed by women who own land or have had husbands killed or imprisoned; young starter farmers who have inherited or acquired land.

From its first full year in 2005, the program has planted a total of almost 60,000 trees to benefit over 1,000 farming families.  As part of that achievement, Zatoun has contributed over $73,300 from oil sales, sponsorships and donations. The goal is to raise $50,000 each year with partners from around the world. We hope to benefit many hundreds of farmers each year.

The Trees for Life: Planting Peace in Palestine program provides individual Palestinian farmers with new olive tree saplings (3 years old) to plant and nurture in order to renew their decimated groves. The project helps offset the enormous destruction of olive trees by the Israeli army, settlers and the illegal Annexation Wall. It also helps starter and women farmers.

Olive farmers in the regions of Jenin, Nablus and Salfit receive 25 to 50 olive tree saplings each. The program was originally designed to keep costs down to a minimum. After 3 planting seasons of experience, the cost per sapling is approximately $4.50.

Originally launched in late 2005, the Trees for Life program was conceived by Zatoun-Canada to share with partners around the world has been met with enthusiastic support. With the help of PFTA (Palestine Fair Trade Association) on the ground in Palestine, the program was designed to ensure an equitable and efficient program providing maximum benefit to farming families who need it the most.

PFTA representatives deliver and help distribute the olive saplings and ensure prompt planting. They also visit all participant farmers after planting to ensure proper care of the trees and assess watering needs for the summer months. Farmers requiring assistance to water trees during summer will be assisted by PFTA.

The program helps connect Palestinian fair trade farmers and producers to the grassroots fair trade movement in Europe and North America in a meaningful way. The Trees for Life project is solely funded by grassroots movements abroad and invested in the fair trade movement in Palestine.

“Planting Peace in Palestine” is not merely a subheading. It is a statement of our sincere belief that Palestine must be a viable economic entity and its people must have the means to earning a livelihood if there is to be a just peace.


For 2009, the world-wide goal for Trees for Life is to raise $50,000 to enable the planting of 12,000 olive tree saplings in approximately 500 farms distributed over 25 agricultural areas across Palestine.

Zatoun in Canada has contributed over $73,300 across four planting seasons. This is a combination of contributions from proceeds of Zatoun olive oil sales and direct donations / sponsorships received from individuals across North America as well as organizations such as US Committee to End the Occupation, American Friends Service Committee, Ten Thousand Villages in Canada and a number of faith groups.

Recipient Selection

Farmers interested in participating in the project apply through PFTA coordinators. Allocations are granted based on the following criteria which the applicant must meet:

  • be a certified member of the Palestine Fair Trade Association program for the production of olive oil. If a new farmer, applicant must demonstrate readiness to become fair trade certified and be willing to implement fair trade guidelines;
  • own a land suitable for the number of trees applied for;
  • demonstrate capacity to care for and nurture trees;
  • be ready to prepare land for a collective tree plantation day. All trees must be planted day delivered. PFTA Representatives will deliver and distribute the trees and ensure prompt planting.

Priority will be given to the following applicants:

  • Farmers that have lost trees to the Israeli destruction and uprooting;
  • Small farmers;
  • Women that own their land and are interested in farming;
  • Young starter farmers that have inherited or acquired land.


Make a Donation to Trees for Life

Mail your cheque to Zatoun

Payable to “Zatoun” -
indicate “Trees for Life”
9251-8 Yonge Street, Suite 142
Richmond Hill, ON   L4C 9T3

*NEW*- Now accepting donations
via VISA, MasterCard or PayPal
Easy & Secure.
(You do NOT need a PayPal account)

The olive farmers of Palestine thank you for your support!
Zatoun is a non-profit organization and does not have charitable, tax-deductible status.

A Zatoun initiative, see

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