Oreo cookies. Those who eat at the diplomat will be especially sweet (Photo: ShutterStock, Jaimie Duplass)
What do branded brands like Heinz ketchup, Oreo cookies, Gillette beauty products, mezola oil, Milka chocolate, longtime Blue Bend brand, Starkist tuna and many others have in common? Well, besides being well-known brands in Israel and around the world, they are all imported to Israel by Diplomat - one of the largest importers of food and cosmetics in Israel.
Now let's say a general sentence, which is self-evident anywhere other than Israel: It's perfectly fine for a business company to make a profit, whether private or public - that's great, really - that's how business is done and our eyes are not narrowed on the profits of a food manufacturer or importer.
Where is the problem with a diplomat? Mostly in terminology. We'll get to that shortly, but first, some numbers:
Diplomat brought in close to NIS 2023 million in the first quarter of 800, which is an increase of 17.8% in revenue and 25.8% in net profit, which translates into NIS 20.5 million quarterly net profit. All this happened in a quarter in which the value of the shekel depreciated against world currencies, a critical matter for the importer.
Starkist tuna with toppings. Another Diplomat brand (Photo: Assaf Ambram)
So let's say again: it is the right, even the duty of a diplomat to make a profit - that's exactly what business is done for (and when compared, for example, to people who sell us not tuna and ketchup, but money - the banks, it's really small money, the kind that CEOs of financial institutions in Israel don't even bend down to pick up from the margins of the report), but at least they won't roll their eyes every time they raise prices.
What did we not rely on from food importers and manufacturers? That raw material prices have risen (partially true), that transportation costs have risen (it was true a year ago), that fuel prices have risen (have moderated long ago) and that the exchange rate has moved to their detriment (true, but where was our bonus the other way around?) and therefore they are "forced" to raise prices, of course - after "absorbing" all the increases in the price of the shekels until they could no longer do so.
So please friends, most of you are affluent people, with successful businesses that generate great profits. As mentioned (for the third time), that's fine, but don't try to both take the cash register and present it as a charity fund, don't tell consumers who count that it's easy to weigh in the supermarket how dangerous you are and how much you have no choice but to raise prices.
You're raising prices to earn more. It's a legal act – is it also moral? The consumer public will judge (or not, the fact that you have not been punished for the recent price increases, because it was just a holiday and we bought full...).
About two weeks ago, it was written here condemning the Economy Minister's initiative to force the large food importers to disclose their profits. A diplomat is not included in this obligation, since it is in any case public (in other words: publishes reports that are visible to all, from which the above figures are taken).
Other importers, those who have always been private and those who have chosen to go private (partly so that we don't know how much they earn), will soon be obliged to disclose profits. I must admit that this step, which is half populist and half socialist, does not really coincide with the spirit of the free market, but hey - in a reality where we are told stories and at the same time raise prices, what else do we have left but the joy of shaming ("shaming", if you despise imports and prefer Israeli products).
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Contributed by "Gavra"
Don't shave the profits. Gillette - another Diplomat import brand (Photo: Walla!, Mikey Levy)