by Dr. Dan Dvoskin and Samuel J. Cohen
Over the last five years, the big story for beef producers in Israel has been the increase in local supply of beef as a result of imported calves, and the development of an active feedlot industry. Until the mid-1990s, fresh beef was limited to domestic slaughter of dairy culls and cattle from a small 50,000 –
60,000 head beef herd. About two-thirds of Israeli beef consumption was imported frozen beef. Since 1996, a relaxing of trade restrictions has allowed duty free imports of live feeder beef calves. Thus the supply of fresh beef has nearly doubled since 1997, to over 45,000 tons per year, and domestic slaughter has supplemented imports so that nearly half of the country’s beef supply is now fresh beef from local producers.
Consumption of beef in Israel has increased from about 80,000 of meat in 1997, to over 105,000 in 2002. Much of the increased demand is a result of population growth (16% in the period) and increased standard of living. Per capita consumption has grown from about 15 kg. per year to about 17 kg.  Chart from “Cattle, Beef, and Everything in Between -Production of Beef in Israel”, Israel Dairy Board, 2003.
Annual Kg per Capita: MEAT – TOTAL 74.7; Fresh Beef: 8.7; Frozen Beef: 8.7; Other: 5.2. Israel’s Frozen Beef is of very low quality.