Poultry breeders halt egg deliveries over dispute

Breeders say they will not resume supply until government meets their demand for an extra 4 agorot per egg delivered.

Eggs in Mahane Yehuda 370 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
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.
Breeders say 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 supply.
“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.