Cutting off the branch you’re sitting on

17.10.2011                      19.Tischrei. 5772                       Chol Hamo'ed 3

Feature:

Cutting off the branch you're sitting on

Local olive oil producers fear the effects of possible cuts to import taxes and quotas, one of the popular weapons against high prices in Israel.

Israel's olive oil manufacturers have prospered in recent years. Owing to government assistance lands allocated for olive groves have expanded. This growth trend has been supported by environmentalists, who attribute ecological importance to olive cultivation. Rising competition with imports is threatening the local sector, with growers fearing cuts to import taxes that they say enable them to compete with foreign olive products. Local growers fear an end to the expansion and the possibility of abandoning groves under cultivation.
The possibility of cutting import duties on olive oil, as part of a broader policy of opening the Israeli economy to competition, was discussed in a few sessions convened by the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry in the past year. The crux of the deliberations was the claim that retail prices for olive oil in Israel are double those in other developed countries….