JERUSALEM—Israel’s powerful dairy companies have surrendered to a three-week boycott and pledged to lower prices on cottage cheese, as Israeli consumers joined the wave of popular protest sweeping the region—in their case, to take on rising prices.
The people won and the big corporations lost.
Why? Because instead of whining, complaining and bitching the people instead withdrew their consent, organized and boycotted.
“Facebook not only brought down the president of Egypt, it has now brought down one of the big monopolies in Israel,” said Efraim Sadka, an economics professor at Tel Aviv University. “This is really the first time that the consumers were really able to bring down the monopoly or a market power.”
The first time of many, one can hope. As for the impact? It was quite real:
A person close to Tnuva Food Industries, the Israeli dairy company that controls 70% of the cottage-cheese market, said sales dropped between 10% and 13% during the boycott’s first week. Other people familiar with the issue put the drop at between 20% and 25%.
Now that is an impact.
For those of you out there who believe that the consumer has no power, that the people just must bend over and take it whenever the government – or big business – say “assume the position!” here’s your example folks.
You have the economic power. You. Not they, you.
All it takes is your willingness to use it.