(Apr. 4, 2011) On March 28, 2011, the Knesset (Israel's Parliament) passed the Milk Sector Planning Law, 5771-2011. The Law has two objectives. The first is the development and improvement of the milk sector in Israel, to ensure quality and safety in milk production and distribution. The second is to ensure a steady supply of milk and milk products (hereinafter milk products), while guaranteeing appropriate working conditions for manufacturing plants and dairies, as well as fair prices for manufacturers, dairies, and the public alike.
The Law establishes a preference for local production of milk products but authorizes the Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor, in consultation with the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (the Minister), to permit import of milk products in accordance with bi-national agreements to which Israel is a party. The Law authorizes the Minister to determine the scope of local production and distribution and to appoint a committee for determination of quotas for the producers and distributors. The Law also regulates the production and distribution of milk products and provides that the prices of milk products and of production services are subject to the Control of Ingredients and Services Law, 5756-1996.
The Law requires that the Minister recognize an organization that promotes the general interests of milk manufacturers as a representative organization. As such, the organization must be invited to participate in deliberations of the quotas committee as an observer.
In addition, the Law recognizes the role of the Milk Council, a company for public benefit, in promoting and enforcing the Law's provisions. It therefore requires that the Council's objectives, as defined in its documents of association, be limited to public purposes. As such, these documents can only be amended with the Minister's authorization. According to the Law, liquidation of the Council can only be implemented by a court. In addition to addressing situations of potential conflict of interest involving members of the Milk Council, the Law also lists types of enforcement authorities, penalties for violation of its provisions, and additional laws that apply to the Milk Council and its employees. (Milk Sector Planning Law, 5771-2011 & bill [both in Hebrew], the Knesset website, respectively (both last visited Apr. 1, 2011); Control of Ingredients and Services Law, 5756-1996 [in Hebrew], SEFER HAHUKIM [BOOK OF LAWS, the official gazette] 192 (1996).)