Dairy Prices to Go Down as Import Quotas Lifted

YERUSHALAYIM -
Shopping in the dairy department at the Osher Ad Supermarket in Givat Shaul, Yerushalayim. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The price of dairy foods in Israel has for years been notoriously high, and all the complaints about it have not availed; but now the government says it is doing something about it.

The Ministries of Finance and Agriculture have canceled import quotas on a range of dairy products including yogurt, low-fat cheeses (up to 5%) and dairy delicacies. On the other hand, import quotas on hard cheeses were increased, according to media reports on Monday.

In a joint ministerial message, they said that the measure was designed “to bring down prices of dairy products for the Israeli consumer.

“The order will allow the opening up of the market to import these products freely from European countries in which the price to the consumer per kilogram of yogurt is an average of NIS 8.5 per kilogram compared with NIS 17 per kilogram in Israel.”

Minister of Finance Avigdor Liberman said, “Dairy products in Israel are 79% more expensive than the OECD average, and opening the dairy market to competition is the first step in a basket of solutions for dealing with the cost of living. Following the reduction of quotas, the Israeli consumer can enjoy a range of dairy products at cheaper prices, while protecting local agriculture.”

Last week, the Ministries of Finance and Agriculture recommended lifting price supervision on butter as part of its efforts to enhance competition and bring down food prices.