West Bank growers eye Israeli market

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Tom Joyce



West Bank growers eye Israeli market

While many retailers and consumers in Israel remain averse to West Bank-grown produce, change appears to be nigh

West Bank growers eye Israeli market

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Farmers in the West Bank have complained of being unable to penetrate the Israeli market due to the reluctance of Israelis to buy products from this origin, according to a report from Israel-Infos.

A spokesperson from the Israeli agricultural sector admitted there was a problem, but said that the country was doing everything possible to make these products available in Israel.

Agriculture currently stands as a pillar of the economy in the Palestinian territories, accounting for around nine per cent of the region's GDP.

Although they export to the US, Europe and Arab countries, Palestinian farmers also want to gain access to the Israeli market.

Israeli consumers are estimated to have bought US$300m of produce from the West Bank, repackaged and sold under Israeli brands.

However, change is reportedly afoot. Rami Levi, head of one of the biggest retail chains in Israel, said that he was "ready to put any products whatsoever in my supermarkets, as long as they meet the required norms and carry a kosher certificate".

Traders from the West Bank are blessed with a competitive advantage over their rivals, thanks to their lower production costs, and with demand often exceeding supply in Israel, the potential is regarded as strong.

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