Chains Boycott Turkish Products

After Rami Levy halted import of Turkish products, Mega reportedly stopped pasta and flour production there. Supersol may be next.

Gil Ronen, | updated: 21:54

Rami Levy
Rami Levy
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Rami Levy, owner of the Israeli discount supermarket chain that bears his name, has announced the chain will no longer stock items imported from Turkey. The decision is Levy's response to Turkish hostility toward Israel and the country's part in engineering the Gaza flotilla clash.

In an apparent response to Levy's initiative, Israel's second largest supermarket chain, Mega, has apparently decided to stop manufacturing flour and pasta for its house brand in Turkey. According to Channel 10 news, which reported the decision, the chain's move means that Turkey will lose about $93 million in annual sales.

Supersol, the largest chain in Israel, owner of Yesh and Supersol supermarkets, is now reportedly considering joining Rami Levy and Mega. 

"We will finish off the stock and start importing from another country, one that is not hostile toward Israel like Turkey," Levy said. "Their products are indeed less expensive, but this is not question of money. The public will understand this and pay a few agorot [100 agorot = one shekel – ed.] more.”

"When I see Turkey's behavior toward Israel,” he said, “this makes me oppose them. I want to give them a taste of their own medicine.”

“This is a matter of principle,” he added. “I am not looking for publicity.”

The Rami Levy / Hashikma Marketing chain has 16 branches located in Jerusalem, Mishor Adumim, Modiin, Ramat Gan, Haifa, Nesher, Zichron Yaakov and southern Israel. Besides being a businessman, Levy is also a member of the Jerusalem Municipality Council, for the list headed by Mayor Nir Barkat. 

Levy is known for aggressive marketing techniques and an affinity for low pricing, which has placed him on a collision course with suppliers. The owner of the Coca Cola franchise in Israel refused to sell the chain its products until it was forced to resume supply after a government regulator intervened.