Is Israel’s national food about to become very expensive? Hummus manufacturers are warning that a legume shortage is leading to a shortage in hummus, which will likely lead to a price hike.
The crisis reached the legume sector because of the drought, fires caused by dry heat waves and weather damage in Israel and around the world.
One of the hummus manufacturers, Moshe Kauftell, CEO and joint owner of Miki Delicatessen, said that a severe shortage in salad products is expected in the immediate future and there will be no alternative but to implement an immediate and considerable price hike on all products which are based on vegetables and legumes, like hummus and other vegetable based salads.
If the legume and vegetable crisis were to continue, it could even lead to production line closures and major salad shortages on store shelves said Kauftell. Kauftell claims that the finance and agriculture ministries are doing nothing to stem the crisis, and are refusing to decrease the taxes on imported vegetables in light of the industry’s condition:
“It is true that the import taxes on legumes and vegetables were meant to protect local farmers, but in light of the local farmers’ inability to supply the food industry with the necessary produce, we are prevented from producing enough to satisfy market demands.
“The Agriculture ministry should take the industry and particularly, the consumer into consideration and decrease taxes on imports, so that the consumer won’t be forced to pay higher prices because of the taxes.”
The Agriculture Ministry noted that: “The claim is unwarranted, the taxes on hummus are very low, NIS 1.10 ($0.21) per kilogram. Getting rid of the tax entirely isn’t logical. Hummus paste manufacturers use a very low percentage of hummus, so that the taxes are not hindering the industry.”