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‘Consumer Revolution’ Milks the Public

Cutting milk prices by 10 agorot will save a total of 17 shekels a year and force closing cow barns in the Gaza Belt, a farmer tells Arutz Sheva.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 7/17/2011, 9:07 AM / Last Update: 7/17/2011, 9:29 AM

Yoni Kempinski

Importing milk to force a reduction of 30 agorot in the price of milk will save consumers a grand total of 17 shekels ($15.00) a year and force the closure of nearly 200 cow barns in Gaza Belt and Golan Heights communities, a farmer tells Arutz Sheva.

The Finance Ministry has proposed importing milk to force a cut in the price of raw milk by 25 cents, while the Industry and Trade Ministry wants a cut of 10 cents a liter

The focus on milk prices follows a partially effective consumer boycott of cottage cheese, which forced a cut in the price. However, the  consumer does not enjoy all of the slash in price that begins at the producer but is whittled down by the time the product reaches the market.

The price of milk is regulated in coordination with farmers, the milk marketing board and government ministries, and it cannot be changed arbitrarily, according to Yossi Eshcar, manager of the 800-cow herd at Beit Yatir-Shomria in the southern Hevron Hills.

Another farmer, Chaim Yellin of the Gaza Belt’s Eshkol region, told Globes, “It’s not enough that Kassam rockets are destroying our southern border? Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu wants to cut our ‘bread,’ also.

Eschar, Yellin and other farmers pointed fingers at the “rich tycoons” who they said are milking the public. Bringing in more milk from outside Israel to force a reduction in the price of milk will line the pockets of importers, charged Cattle Breeders Association Yaakov Baker.

The farmers plan to protest the proposal Sunday afternoon opposite the offices of the Prime Minister.