Creaming Off Profits? Israel's Tnuva Dairy Sued in $142m Class Action Suit

Israeli firm faces class action over allegations that it overcharged on 5% white cheese and 38% sweet cream.

Ora Coren
Ora Coren
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Ora Coren
Ora Coren

In the first class-action suit of its kind in the local food industry, the Tnuva dairy firm was sued in Jerusalem District Court on Thursday for about half a billion shekels ($142.9 million), over allegations that it took advantage of its monopoly position to overcharge the public on two of its dairy products.

A major focus of the lawsuit iss a claim that Tnuva improperly overcharged for its 5% white cheese – a popular thick spreadable dairy product that is a staple of the Israeli kitchen.

The lawsuit is seeking to have the court rule that the case can proceed on behalf of all purchasers of 5% white cheese in the seven years before price controls on the product were imposed last January.

Tnuva issued a statement in response saying it had not yet received the lawsuit and was therefore not in a position to comment.

The suit, which was filed by Yaron Zelekha – the former accountant general at the Finance Ministry who is now dean of the business management department at the Ono Academic College – did not seek damages for the more distant past because such a claim would be barred by the statute of limitations.

The suit does include an additional claim, however, that Tnuva overcharged for 38% sweet cream from June 2009 – when government price controls were lifted – until January 2014, when they were reimposed.

Due to its commanding position in the market for 5% white cheese and 38% sweet cream, Tnuva was declared a monopoly in 1998.

The ruling imposed special legal restrictions on its ability to charge prices that are deemed unreasonable.

Tnuva commands about a 50% share of the white cheese market and 70% of the sweet cream market.

Tnuva dairy products.Credit: Hagay Frid

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN


Trump and Netanyahu at the White House in Washington, in 2020.

Three Years Later, Israelis Find Out What Trump Really Thought of Netanyahu

German soldier.

The Rival Jewish Spies Who Almost Changed the Course of WWII

Rio. Not all Jewish men wear black hats.

What Does a Jew Look Like? The Brits Don't Seem to Know

Galon. “I’m coming to accomplish a specific mission: to increase Meretz’s strength and ensure that the party will not tread water around the electoral threshold. If Meretz will be large enough, it will be the basis for a Jewish-Arab partnership.” Daniel Tchetchik

'I Have No Illusions About Ending the Occupation, but the Government Needs the Left'

Soldiers using warfare devices made by the Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems.

Russia-Ukraine War Catapults Israeli Arms Industry to Global Stage

Flame and smoke rise during an Israeli air strike, amid Israel-Gaza fighting, in Gaza City August 6, 2022.

Israel Should End Gaza Operation Now, if It Can