Delays in the release of foodstuffs from Israel's ports because of thorough inspection of imports will cause a shortage in stores, warns Moti Keren, CEO of Unilever Israel.
The release of goods is being delayed because of the more meticulous, and slower, pace of inspection by Health Ministry workers at ports and laboratories for imported foodstuffs.
Procedures were tightened after five ministry workers were charged in May, after mislabeled imported Remedia soy-based baby formula resulted in death and injury to a number of infants. Ministry workers say that they are concerned lest an error in their testing and inspection work results in a similar fate.
Keren said that the shortage of raw materials is also wreaking havoc on production lines. He says that Unilever has been hit by a shortage of flour for the breakfast cereal industry.
"At the last minute we managed to supply raw materials for another week or two of work" he said. Keren added that even if the problem is solved tomorrow morning, it will take months to release all the currently backed-up goods.
The Osem food conglomerate has not noted any serious shortage of raw materials for the time being. Nevertheless, Osem-Nestle CEO Gezi Kaplan has called on the government to find a solution to solve the slowdown in inspection procedures at the ports and labs.
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