Israel is facing a tomato shortage, leading to a surge in prices and a potential dominance of imported vegetables on store shelves by mid-January. The head of an Israeli retail chain has urged the government to prioritize domestically grown fruits and vegetables over expanding import quotas amid discussions of rising agricultural prices and increased import volumes.
The CEO noted the urgency and the need to start a planting campaign in the agricultural sector, to ensure fresh local tomatoes on Israeli tables this winter.
Tomato prices range from 1.24 to 2.5 euros per kilogram in discount stores, reaching 3 euros in private vegetable shops.
A source in the vegetable industry warned of a 30-50% decrease in tomato plantings since the war began, indicating a 50% reduction in tomato availability by mid-January compared to average consumption levels. The government's duty-free import quota discussions center on whether it will be 40% or 30% of the average consumption.