Eggs in Mahane Yehuda 370.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Israelis might have to forgo popular meals like omelettes and shakshuka,
starting later this week, after the Poultry Breeders Association stopped
delivering eggs to supermarkets over a price dispute Sunday.
they will not resume supply until the government meets their demand for an extra
four agorot per egg delivered. They say they are losing massive amounts of money
as a result of an approximately 30 percent increase in the price of chicken feed
in recent months.
Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and Agriculture
Minister Orit Noked must approve any change in the price of eggs, which are
under government supervision.
Their legal advisers referred the matter to
the attorney-general on October 24 and are awaiting instructions, the Treasury
said Thursday. If they approve the breeders’ demands, the price of eggs to
consumers will rise by around 5%.
Motti Elkabetz, head of the Poultry
Breeders Association, said that the breeders had delayed their protest out of
consideration for the public, but that the government should have approved the
price increase before the September holidays.
“We have held off on the
price increase for three months, and meanwhile we are absorbing the losses,” he
said, explaining why his organization had no choice but to halt
“The finance minister wants to be portrayed as socially conscious
– but must not do this at our expense.
We have no desire to become rich.
We just want to live respectably. Three thousand families live off this
industry, 2,000 on the confrontation line in the north. This is the only source
of income for most of them, and without it their financial situation will become
worse and worse.”
A number of supermarkets and food manufacturers have
announced price hikes in recent weeks. Shufersal said it will raise prices on
hundreds of products by an average of 4% in November.
Tnuva and Strauss
both raised the price of selected dairy products last week, citing the increased
cost of raw milk.