Yair Hason | 18.01.2009 00:30
Fruit growers disappointed by canceled orders from abroad, leaving
produce to rot in warehouses
Published: 01.16.09, 07:37
from abroad since the military operation in Gaza was launched, due to
various boycotts against Israeli produce.
Farmers say much of their produce is being held in warehouses due to
canceled orders, and fear a sharp decrease in fruit exports to
countries such as Jordan, Britain, and the Scandinavian countries.
"We export persimmons, and because of the fighting a number of
countries and distributors are canceling orders," Giora Almagor, of
the southern town of Bitzaron, told Ynet. He said some of the produce
had already been shipped while some was awaiting shipment in
Almagor said a large number of cancellations came from Jordan. "The
produce stays packed in warehouses, and this is causing us massive
losses," he said.
"The longer the fruit waits in storage after sorting, the more its
quality decreases. We also have to pay for cooling the merchandise
that should have already left, and the cost in considerable," he
Ilan Eshel, director of the Organization of Fruit Growers in Israel,
said Scandinavian countries have also been canceling orders. "It's
mostly Sweden, Norway, and Denmark," he said. "In Scandinavia the
tendency is general, and it may come to include all of the chains."
Eshel says the boycott did not exist before the Gaza offensive was
launched. "It's getting worse, and more voices can be heard calling to
boycott Israeli merchandise," he said. "Until the operation began we
had excellent business, though the economic recession in Europe was
causing a slight fall in the market."
He added that winter was an especially difficult season to be unable
to export fruit, because the avocado, persimmon, and citrus markets
are at their height.