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      Dairy Prices, Tariffs to Be Reduced

      Following public uproar over Israe'ls high dairy costs - and price-fixing in the industry - Israel is opening up competition and reducing costs.
      By Gabe Kahn.
      First Publish: 7/15/2011, 2:28 PM / Last Update: 7/15/2011, 3:36 PM

       

      Industry and Trade Minister Shalom Simhon announced Thursday that dairy prices will be reduced about 10% and that dairies will be forced to reduce profit margins accordingly.

      Other measures taken included a reduction in dairy tariffs to allow imports of less expensive powdered milk and hard cheeses, and the opening of competition in the price of milk, which should lead to a considerable drop in the cost of raw milk.

      This marks a radical change to Israel's traditional policy under which quotas and prices were negotiated with individual dairies, both large and small, by the government.

      Simhom added the dairy industry will be subject to review by authorities every three months. Simhon also told reporters his ministry will examine animal feed mixes next..

      The changes come after 'The Great Cottage Cheese Protest' staged earlier this year as a means of publicizing Israel's unusually high dairy prices, which in turn led lawmakers to conduct an inquiry into price fixing in Israel's dairy industry.