Critics slam milk reform plan
Recommendations include reducing the prices that dairies pay dairy farmers for milk, collecting data on the profitability of supermarkets and manufacturers, and allowing imports of hard cheeses and powdered milk.
The recommendations to fix Israel's dairy market are not based on real economic calculations or data, opponents argued a day before the cabinet was slated to approve them.
The recommendations, drafted by the Kedmi Committee, include reducing the prices that dairies pay dairy farmers for milk, collecting data on the profitability of supermarkets and manufacturers, and allowing imports of hard cheeses and powdered milk.
Amid expectations for last night's protest, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised last week that the cabinet would approve the recommendations at its weekly meeting today in order to increase competition and lower prices.
But Deputy Attorney General Mike Blass warned over the weekend that the recommendations may not be constitutional.
The committee did not consider enough actual data or economic analyses, he said.
The dairy farmers have petitioned the High Court of Justice over the recommendations, he said. In their petitions, they noted that the Kedmi Committee had been told that the price increases came from the supermarkets and manufacturers, not the dairy farmers, he added.
The Dairy Council found in a survey that 74% of respondents don't think the reform will address the responsible parties, namely the supermarkets and manufacturers.
Agriculture Minister Orit Noked also objects to the committee's recommendations, which she said would strengthen the supermarkets and manufacturers at the expense of the dairy farmers.