How some socialist kibbutzes are making big bucks

My latest client is a very decent sized manufacturing concern situated in the heart of an agricultural kibbutz. The members own 50%.

Yup – the remaining shares are in the hands of a private group. Long gone are the days when the kibbutz movement, now celebrating its 100th anniversary, was a bastion of socialism.

I have no intention of knocking kibbutz and what it stands for. Over the past two decades, the 273 communities have evolved. For most, debts have been paid off, the next generation has stopped leaving, European volunteers are returning; etc, etc. Good times are returning.

Commercially, success stories abound. In the past 12 months, there have been at least 3 major “exits”.

  • Materna, baby milk supplement from Kibbutz Ma’aborot, sold to Osem/Nestle for 268m shekels ($70m)
  • Shamir Optical from Kibbutz Shamir, sold to Essilor for 130m shekels ($35m)
  • Tivoll, soya based foods from Kibbutz Lohamei Hagetaot, sold to Osem / Nestle for 500m shekels ($135m) 

Only a few weeks ago, it was announced that the listing of the number of kibbutz owned firms on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange is set to double. The movement may account for less than 2% of the overall population, but its 127,000 members drive over 8% of Israel’s GNP. Impressive.

And if you think that all I am talking about is a few large factories tagged on to a massive agricultural ego trip, you are wrong. Venture south towards Eilat, and stop off at Ketura. You will find some of the most sophisticated solar power units in the world. No surprise that Siemens has been investing heavily in the venture.

What next? Simple. Raise your glasses to the next 100 years of commercial success for these communities and then join in the boom.

Explore posts in the same categories: Business, Israel

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One Comment on “How some socialist kibbutzes are making big bucks”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Robot J. McCarthy, michaelhoresh. michaelhoresh said: How the socialists on kibbutz enjoy the commercial success of capitalism: […]

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