Israeli government shakes up agri sector to cut produce costs

Yesterday, the Israeli government unveiled a plan to lower fresh produce costs by cutting customs duties and opening the sector to competition. Hopefully, this should end years of prices far above Western averages. The plan, includes an aid package of direct and other support to Israeli farmers, and is expected to save consumers 2.7 billion shekels ($820 million) a year. It will be part of an economic package accompanying the 2021-2022 budget, the first since Benjamin Netanyahu was unseated.

Under the plan, taxes would be dropped or reduced many items of fresh produce. It also includes an easing of regulations on fruit and vegetable imports through the adoption of European standards. By doing this, the government expects a significant increase in the range of products offered in Israel.

According to a Reuters article, the latest steps follow another plan announced last week by the government to overhaul Israel’s import policies to cut the cost of consumer goods that are as much as 80% more expensive than Western averages, largely by reducing regulations.

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