According to Pini Gurevich, CEO of Yachin, Israel’s produce reforms pose an existential threat to the country’s packaged vegetables, preserves and frozen vegetables industry, including dry land farmers. Gurevich said that the vegetable canning industry will not be able to compete with the price of canned imports from Europe and third world countries where agriculture is subsidized or duty free.
As part of the plan, Israel will recognize European standards for fruits and vegetables. Also, regulation of produce imported from Europe will be reduced. The program follows OECD recommendations, and it could save Israelis some NIS 2.7 billion a year. The Arrangements Law will lead to the closure of Israeli factories and the erasure of Israeli industry, Gurevich added.
David Levy, CEO of the Dryland Farmers’ Association, said: “The Arrangements Law is a severe blow to 300 dry land vegetable growers.” Farmers have also taken to the streets in protest, saying the reforms will destroy the livelihoods of thousands, with no impact on the cost of living.