New boycott targets Strauss, others

Unilever found to sell its brands here at substantially higher prices than abroad.

By ILANIT HAYUT / GLOBES
October 5, 2011 06:14
1 minute read.
Strauss

Strauss logo. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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The cottage-cheese boycott leaders, headed by Itzik Alrov, are targeting Strauss Group Ltd., Osem Investments Ltd. and Unilever Israel Ltd., demanding that they cut prices immediately or face consumer boycotts. Unilever Israel owns the Telma and Knorr food brands, Ben and Jerry’s franchise, Badin detergents, Dove soap and Vaseline brands, among many others.

A price comparison by Globes found that Unilever plc/NV sells its brands in Israel at substantially higher prices than in other countries.

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The proposed boycotts follow Tnuva Food Industries’s capitulation on Monday and its announcement that it is lowering prices of basic dairy products. Despite the announcement, the cottagecheese boycott and Tel Aviv Student Union leaders are not halting their boycott of the company and are demanding that it cut prices on all products.

“It’s important to remember that this boycott is in addition to the boycott against Tnuva,” Alrov told Globes Tuesday. “We’re demanding that Strauss, Osem and Telma cut prices permanently. We want Osem to cut prices on its products, especially its flagship product Materna infant formula. It’s unacceptable that a 700-gram container of Materna costs NIS 45 in some places but NIS 70 elsewhere. Obviously, we cannot ask the public not to buy basic goods like Materna, but we can ask them not to buy other Osem products.”

The boycotts against Strauss, Osem and Telma had not yet begun, Alrov said, but the protest leaders have sent letters to the companies asking them to lower prices on a permanent basis, so that the boycott weapon would not have to be wielded.

Globes: What price cuts do you want?
Alrov: “Thirty percent on all food products of these three companies, and the same NIS 45 price for a can of Materna at all locations.”

What’s the deadline?
“We hope that they will respond to our request by the end of Sukkot [October 20].”

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