Europe is suffering from a major sugar shortage, and Israel’s primary sugar mill, Sugat, has been called to the rescue.

For the first time since the 1970s, the Kiryat Gat-based Sugat will export 15,000 tons of refined sugar to Italy, Spain, Switzerland and The Netherlands; with the rest of Europe to follow throughout the year.

The initial export is said to be worth approximately $12 million. David Franklin, chairman and CEO of Sugat, said by the end of the year the sweet deal could be worth $100 million.

A shortage of sugar in the European Union has caused prices in some member states to rise as much as 70% in 2011, reported Bloomberg. The crisis prompted the European Economic Community to approve the imports from Israel.

Franklin said that the company’s “entering more European countries is an important step towards introducing our products worldwide. We are proud to carry the ‘Made in Israel’ label.”