The peak season for Israeli cut flower growers usually starts mid-December. It is uncertain whether the Israeli will be able to harvest their flowers. The war between Israel and Hamas has created a shortage of labour. Meanwhile, the auctions show a slight drop in supply from Israel.
“The conflict has caused various growers in Israel to stop producing, particularly in the border regions in the south and the north. In addition, there has been a shortage of labour, impacting the harvest. Meanwhile, the sector is trying its utmost to keep producing under challenging circumstances. To this end, it is getting support from the Ministry [of Agriculture, ed.] and volunteers,” outlines Maarten Wegen, Dutch Agricultural Counsel for Israel, Turkey and the Palestinian territories.
Growers in Israel often depend on foreign labour – particularly Thai workers – and Palestinians. They left in the early days of the conflict or were unable to continue their work due to the border closures. According to Wegen: “The situation continues to be problematic for growers in the time ahead. The Israeli Ministry [of Agriculture, ed.] says that it is looking for workers and that some of them have meanwhile returned.”