Friday, May 30, 2014

Paying for pears from Patagonia!?


Israel has long been a leader in agriculture, so I was quite shocked to see foreign fruit in the supermarket.
Look at these stickers!
The code for the apple I think is from somewhere in Europe.
And the big pear?
All the way from Argentina!  "Fruits from Patagonia" the sticker says!

The prices are high and the taste (of the pears, at least) is low.
What's going on?

Then I remembered our snow storm last December.
And the four straight days of heavy rain and damaging winds.
So much agricultural produce was doomed then.

Now I read that our Ministry of Agriculture agreed to abolish customs duties on apples and pears, beginning last March, for the entire year of 2014.

 Lettuce, zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, and cucumbers also enjoyed several months of being duty-free this year.
If not this, our cost of living would have skyrocketed.

I hate buying fruits and vegetables at Meitar's supermarket because they have a monopoly and charge way too much.
Next week I'll take the bus in to Beer Sheva and see what the price situation is at the big shuk, the open air food market.

Someday, some year, our farmers might get the promised government compensation for the loss of their crops last winter.


  1. Bad with that winter.. I am happy to find potatoes, peppers and carrots from Israel in my shop! Not any boikott here:-)

  2. Spiderdama, I'm glad our vegetables survived and came all the way to Norway.

  3. Even though we grow a lot of produce here in California, there are fruits and vegetables from all over at the grocery store. I've even eaten a few bell peppers from Israel :)

  4. Governments tend to be slow to compensate such things, no matter what the country.

  5. Yes, and even here in western Norway, with our enormous productions of fruits and berries, we can find fruits from south-America these days. We have a much colder climate than Israel, and the season of growth much shorter. But soon the fresh fruits of this season will arrive the shops!

    I wish you a happy weekend, and hopefully better fruits in the upcoming week...

  6. Sorry about the snow :( I would never buy fruit and veg from a shop if there was an alternative. The produce in market stalls is fresher, cheaper and you get more choice.

  7. Friends, so interesting what you tell.

    Hels, yeah, I prefer the shuk too. But for me, without a car, it means a time sink of half a day, 7.50 shekels bus fare, sweating in the heat of Beer Sheva. And there is only so much I can shlep in a backpack and two tote bags.
    I loved going regularly to Machane Yehuda market in Jerusalem, but the shuk in BS is way less fun.

  8. Language is funny. Sometimes a single pear... sounds like two.

  9. Too bad you only have one supermarket in Meitar ,so that they charge more.Does it take long to go to BeerSheva?

  10. We are so used to this...

  11. No apples from South Tyrol?
    I am surprised :)

  12. Birdman, ha, yeah :)
    My favorite is What do you call two doctors? A paradox.

    Jael, it is 45 minutes bus ride to Beer Sheva central station and the shuk. But not very frequent buses to Meitar.

    VP, I guess you are used to it but we, not yet.

    Karl, actually I DO remember buying apples from South Tyrol in my little village grocery shop, sometime before I moved away last August!

  13. Dina you're raising an important point. When I used to live in Australia I remember not eating bananas for a full year in 2006 after a hurricane had thrown all the banana trees to the ground in Queensland. No way I would pay 11 dollars a kilo!

    But I can see the same happening here with many products. We do get to see fruits and vegetables from the southern hemisphere here when they're not in season here: pears, apples or grapes from Argentina or Chile - no way I'd buy them of course. Our region is called France's orchard and we get plenty of wonderful local produce : all we need to do is wait till they're in season.

    And then of course

  14. PS - thanks so much for your lovely comment about our quarry work in Beaumes-de-Venise! The leader of the project was my partner Michel, he's passionate about it and he couldn't believe someone from Jerusalem was interested in their work. Thanks, you made his day :)

  15. I ditto what Nathalie said. As an Aussie we frequently have fruit from other countries here in our supermarket. What makes me mad is when we have USA oranges and lemons competing against local producers. When our local producers are only 2 hours down the road! But too far for me to go and buy them. Our farmers markets are only on once a month - there is only the supermarkets here. And yes, the banana drought. Banana cake, bread and smoothies were off the menu everywhere. If you wanted a banana you bought one only as a treat - and then ate it very slowly.

  16. I know exctly how you felt. We are buying fruit from places as far as New Zealand, having exactly the same types here. The brilliant minds in the European Union have estabelished limits in what to produce or to fish. It's preposterous and it has partially ruined agriculture and fishing in my country!

  17. I'm glad you're getting some breaks here. The winter has been hard everywhere.


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