private Kosher organisations flourish by marketing their service as a superior Kosher standard.
They have succeeded in persuading significant proportions of the population that their standards are superior
“Our Kosher seal is better than advertising,” says Rabbi Yehoshua Gross of the Eda Chareidis, a comment that sounds like an ad slogan itself.
He boasts, without providing any support, that, “Advertising only brings in 10 percent of what the Badatz seal brings in.”
In Israel the Kashrus Fraud Law compels all food manufacturers who wish to identify their products as Kosher, to be monitored and registered by the Chief Rabbinate, represented in each city by that city's designated rabbinate.
The companies pay the local rabbinate an annual fee, based on a set rate, in addition to the salaries of the Mashgichim [supervisors].
In spite of this many private Kosher organisations flourish by marketing their service as a superior Kosher standard. They have succeeded in persuading significant proportions of the population that their standards are superior to those of the Chief Rabbinate.
Private Kosher certification is not cheap but its success is apparent from the vast number of companies and manufacturers who pay in order to sell to the Charedi sector.
Rabbi Haggai Bar Giora, head of the Chief Rabbinate’s Shechita and medications department, dismisses these Charedi privaye HechSheirim, as “sales promotions”. Indeed it may be so, but it has successfully accomplished a tremendous marketing feat, almost everybody accepts them. And such successful marketing commands a heavy price.
“Our Kosher seal is better than advertising,” says Rabbi Yehoshua Gross of the Eda Chareidis, a comment that sounds like an ad slogan itself, and boasts, without providing any support, that, “Advertising only brings in 10 percent of what the Badatz seal brings in.”
“We were here before the Rabbinate,” Rabbi Gross told Ynet’s Hebrew website. “The Eda Charedis was providing its service 80 or 90 years ago for the small community of Charedim who were seeking their own Kosher services and standards. Today we have more than 200 factories in Eretz Yisroel."
“We don’t have set rates. We charge according to the oversight expenses and it all depends on the type of work involved. There are places where the Mashgiach goes in and out a few times a day, there are places where a Mashgiach is onsite 24 hours a day, such as an egg layer farm, which also has seven Mashgichim working every shift. At a Shechita house there’s a team of several Mashgichim, and when it comes to flour there’s more work in the summer. These are all examples of factors that play a part in the costs.”
Leading rivals of the Eda Charedis include HaRav Landau, HaRav Rubin of Rechovot, Agudas Yisroel, Badatz Machzikei HaDas - run by Belz, Shearis Yisroel, Yoreh Deah, HaRav Efrati, and Beis Yosef - run by HaRav Ovadia Yosef's family.
Rabbi Weiss says the Kashrus standards at the Eda Charedis are unsurpassed. To look into a single ingredient in a brand of soup broth powder they won’t hesitate to fly abroad – at the manufacturer’s or importer’s expense – to check the raw ingredients and the production conditions at the factory.
“We check all of the raw ingredients ourselves, and that makes the difference. Every week we fly dozens of people abroad,” he says. The manufacturer covers the plane fares, lodging costs and the wages, of course."
“We don’t sign commercial contracts. We have them sign a declaration saying the owner pledges to heed all of our directives. We’re paid a fee through a standing bank order and the Mashgichim get paid by the hour.”
“We’re the most widely accepted,” says Rabbi Weiss. “It makes a difference when someone opens a Kashrus organization based on political considerations. We don’t have any political considerations.”
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