Giant Meat Shortage Is Hitting Israel

( – Israel is experiencing a meat shortage just before the festival of Passover is to take place. Experts warn of higher prices for fish, chicken, and beef with increases already reaching 25-30%. A shortage of poultry also affected customers in January, when veterinary inspectors refused to work in protest at their conditions. The Veterinary Inspection Corporation reported that vets had not turned up to work due to illness and that as many as nine times more vets reported sick on a single day.

The Veterinary Inspection Corporation was launched in 2020 to ensure that meat was produced to a high standard. At the time of the shortages in January, the organization was negotiating with the Finance Ministry and the General Workers’ Union to regulate the terms of employment of vets and other staff. Following a large number of sickness reports, a representative of the institution said, “We are on the eve of signing a collective agreement and the timing of the increase in sickness seems unreasonable, harms the corporation’s activities and causes damages.”

The more recent scarcity has partly been blamed on the closure of a wastewater plant used to ensure that poultry is fit for consumption under Kosher rules. Large quantities of salt are needed to make beef and chicken Kosher, and the process of doing so results in an accumulation of brine, which is then treated and returned to the sea. The bulk of the brine treatment takes place at two major plants in the north of Israel. One of these is the largest in the nation and is due to close in late March. The Ministry of the Economy is under pressure to find alternative methods of processing the brine so that meat production is not delayed further and shortages made greater. The Economic Minister blamed the private sector but said he was working day and night to find a solution and ensure there was enough meat for Passover.

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