Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Shalom Simhon agreed last week to allow more dairy imports in order to increase competition.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepted the recommendations.
In a statement issued by the Finance Minister he noted “The right way to reduce prices is through true competition in the milk economy. That’s possible only by opening the market to imports, as a part of government policy to reduce market concentration and increase competition.”
Over the course of the next five years, the Israeli dairy market will also gradually open to international imports. By 2015, it is projected that the imports of granular (yellow) cheeses will be increased to 9,000 tons per year. In addition, 1,080 tons of hard cheese will be imported with a duty of up to 20%.
Dairies, supermarket chains and other large suppliers will not be allowed to import hard cheese. The quota for the import of milk powder, which is used instead of raw milk in some dairy products, will be increased from the current 1,500 tons to at least 4,000 tons.