Rabbinate to boost kosher milk imports
Chief Rabbi David Lau says Israel's religious authority working to recognize foreign Kashrut bodies in bid to increase competition and prevent price hikes in dairy products market.
Published: 06.29.14, 11:42 / Israel Jewish Scene
Israel's Chief Rabbinate plans to recognize foreign Kashrut bodies which it has not recognized so far, in a bid to boost milk imports and increase competition which could help prevent the expected hike in the prices of supervised dairy products.
"The struggle for reducing the cost of living is important for us all," explained Chief Rabbi David Lau. "We cooperate wholeheartedly wherever the supervision costs can be lowered, without violating Jewish Law.
Following a meeting held last week between Rabbi Lau and representatives of the Finance and Economy ministries, the Rabbinate announced that it was joining the effort to combat rising prices and would look into technological solutions to reduce the costs of supervising the milk Kashrut process abroad, such as cameras which will allow the supervisor to simultaneously monitor the process taking place at several dairies.The Rabbinate's decision follows the recent appointment of a joint team with the Treasury in a bid to reduce the cost of the Kashrut factor in products' prices as part of a comprehensive move examining the factors affecting the cost of living in Israel.
Considerable prices differences
The concluding meeting was attended by Chief Rabbi Lau, the director-general of the Religious Services Ministry, Elhanan Glatt, who also serves as the Rabbinate's acting director, and representatives of the Kashrut Division.
Figures presented at the meeting pointed at considerable price differences between dairy products in Israel and abroad. The relatively small number of foreign Kashrut bodies recognized by the Chief Rabbinate were said to prevent significant competition in favour of the Israeli consumer.
The chief rabbi told the Treasury representatives that since taking office, he has been working to sharpen the criteria for recognizing foreign Kashrut bodies and increasing their supervision.The Agriculture Ministry announced last week that the target prices of raw milk would go up by 6.81% in July. Finance Ministry Yair Lapid stated that he would refuse to approve a similar hike in the prices of supervised dairy products.