More moshavim call for Tnuva CEO Arik Raichman to step down

Raichman is accused of mismanaging Tnuva, embarking on unnecessary and unprofitable investments in Israel and abroad.

tnuva logo 88 (photo credit: )
tnuva logo 88
(photo credit: )
Nov, Eli-Ad, Avnei Eitan, Na'ot Golan, and Kfar Yehezkel have joined five other dairy-producing moshavim in the call for Tnuva CEO Arik Raichman to quit his post, accusing him of making personal use of the collective's resources, representatives of the moshavim said Thursday. "They are opposed to Tnuva's privatization and think that if they attack me the process will be halted," Raichman told The Jerusalem Post. "There is no truth in their allegations. Everything I do, I do with the backing of Tnuva institutions. I do not act on my own and there is no personal interest in my decisions," he said. The collective's privatization was decided in two committee conventions, in 1999 and 2003, Raichman said. The moshavim involved disagree. "No decision was ever taken to privatize the collective and turn it into a company. No mandate was given to the CEO or the management to carry out what is being done today. Not in 1999 and not in 2003," argued a senior source within the moshavim who wished to remain anonymous. "Tnuva was created in the beginning to serve the moshavim and kibbutzim, to market their produce, not in order for shareholders to receive profits. There is no need to privatize Tnuva and turn it into an organization worrying about things unrelated to the interests of the moshavim and kibbutzim. Improvements can be made in other ways," he said. Opening Tnuva to be traded on the stock exchange would also publicly expose its "nearly non-existent" profits for a company of its size, "greatly damaging the collective's value," he added. The moshavim accuse Raichman of mismanaging Tnuva, embarking on unnecessary and unprofitable investments in Israel and abroad, and making irresponsible statements that have hurt the collective's clientele base. "This is a captain who is mispiloting the ship and must go," the anonymous moshavnik said. Most kibbutzim are withholding support from the mutiny of the moshavim, or joining in anonymously, due to an "economic interest" in the collective's privatization, according to the moshavnik. The debt-laden kibbutzim came to an arrangement with the state whereby one quarter of shares received from the privatization would go directly to the state and would be applied to relieving their financial burden, he said. Raichman could not say when Tnuva's initial public offering as a company would take place nor how much of its stock would be traded, explaining that the collective's committee had yet to approve the "operational procedures" involved, and only then would the Israel Securities Authority be able to approve the release of stock on the exchange.