Olive Growers Appeal to Delay Jordanian Imports

YERUSHALAYIM -
A view of olive trees in the foreground, with the Har Homa neighborhood visible in the background. (Abir Sultan/Flash 90)
A view of olive trees in the foreground, with the Har Homa neighborhood visible in the background. (Abir Sultan/Flash 90)

Israeli olive growers have put in a request with the Agriculture Ministry to move back the date permitting the importation of olives from Jordan, Haaretz reported on Wednesday.

Worried that the Jordanian product could create a surplus in Israel’s market, they are seeking to have the import postponed until October, instead of September, to give the domestic harvest ample time to be marketed.

Israel has a trade agreement with Jordan that provides for importing fruits and vegetables duty-free based on Israel’s market needs. The Agriculture Ministry decides when certain produce items are lacking, and decides on imports in order to keep local prices stable.

The Agriculture Ministry said in response that it will take into account the interests of all the parties concerned — including farmers and consumers — noting that this year’s harvest was expected to be smaller than last year’s.

The Agriculture Ministry recently estimated that this year’s olive crop will come in 6,000 to 9,000 tons short of demand. Israel’s olive industry uses 17,000 tons of olives.