Dairy products in a supermarket
Dairy products in a supermarketFlash 90

The Ramat Hagolan dairy, fifth-largest in Israel, on Thursday announced that it would immediately cease producing dairy products, Israel Hayom reported.

The dairy, located in the Golan Heights, said that its decision is due to financial difficulties. As a result, the dairy will no longer purchase from the dairy farmers in the Golan Heights and the surrounding areas.

According to the dairy, attempts are underway to reach an agreement with the bank, but if the attempts do not succeed, the dairy will be forced to close immediately.

Following this announcement, the Dairy Council turned to the one responsible by law for regulating the dairy industry, requesting to immediately absorb the Ramat Hagolan's quotas of milk. At the same time, the Council's Director General, Itzik Schneider, turned to Tnuva's management requesting that the dairy giant put forth the greatest efforts possible in order to increase the production of supervised milk for drinking, so as to prevent a shortage.

The dairy produces milk for drinking for the private Shufersal company, the Gad dairies, and other products, including Bulgarian and Tzfat cheese.

"Unfortunately, the difficult reality the dairy farmers and dairy farms are facing is expressed this evening in a concrete fashion, as a food producer which employs hundreds of workers and [offers income] to providers in the periphery is forced to end its operations," Israel Hayom quoted Schneider as saying.

"The Dairy Council is working in coordination with the management of the Ramat Hagolan dairy and in cooperation with all dairies in Israel in order to provide immediate solutions for the dairy farmers who find themselves without an income and without an ability to export their products, while at the same time ensuring that the regular supply of milk and dairy products to consumers will not be affected."

Israel Hayom quoted the company as saying, "As other companies in the industry are experiencing, the drastic rise in the price of input, together with the rise in the price of raw milk and the costs of production, make producing milk difficult. For a long time, the company made great efforts to operate the dairy, and it will continue to take care of its workers and its customers' and suppliers interests, in the best way possible."