Israeli food conglomerate Tnuva has expressed concerns that a milk shortage will be felt on the Yom Tov of Sukkos. On the eve of Rosh Hashana, a notable milk shortage was recorded in many sales points across Israel.
A source in Tnuva said Sunday that the reason for the shortage is a limited number of work days in the Yom Tov period and high demands on the Yomim Tovim, which this year features three-day Yom Tovs.
Tnuva controls 75% of the drinking milk market and is essentially a monopoly. The company said that “due to the heat and low production of raw milk as well as the many days of holiday we have witnessed a shortage in drinking milk. Tnuva dairies and factories are working hard to meet the demands.”
The shortage in milk in retail chains and supermarkets began early last week and was explained by the hot weather which is causing cows to produce less milk. At the height of the hot season milk production dropped by 20%.
In addition, the hot weather caused Israelis to consume more cold drinking milk and dairy products, which affected the shortage. Dairies have consequently reduced the marketing of milk and warned of a shortage.
Another reason for the shortage is that consumers stocked up on large quantities of milk prior to the closing of supermarkets for three consecutive days due to the long Yom Tov.
“We were there this morning and there was no milk and were told there would be none later,” a Modiin resident related his experience at a Mega supermarket branch on the eve of Rosh Hashanah.
Meanwhile, claims have been made against dairy farms accusing them of using their raw milk for the production of lucrative products such as yogurts and yellow cheese at the expense of drinking milk. Consumers reported of a higher shortage of bagged milk than milk sold in cartons, which is more expensive. The dairies denied the claims but did not provide an explanation for the difference in shortages.
Shaike Drori, director of Israel’s Diary Board said: “The shortage on the holiday eves is not supposed to stem from a shortage in raw milk but from the dairy farms’ considerations, as we increased milk quotas for dairy-farmers this year.”
Yotvata Dairy said in response: “The production of bagged milk has not ceased. Following the general drop in milk production this summer together with high demands ahead of the holidays, shortage was felt last week. As of today, stocks will be renewed. We are working at full force to meet the supplies.”
Shufersal retail chain said they were working with the dairies to meet the demands.
Tara Dairy stated in response: “The reduction in production applies for all Tara products including yellow cheese and butter. We estimate it will take a number of weeks for production to revert back to normal output.”