by Jenny Lee, Vancouver Sun
Take a little non-profit agency run by an innovative orthodox rabbi — in no way a contradiction in terms — and you get Kosher Check, a Vancouver kosher certification agency that sends rabbinical inspectors as far away as India and China.
“Companies want to get kosher certification because it makes their products easier to sell,” Kosher Check business manager Richard Wood said.
“The majority of people today buy kosher products not because they are Jewish but because they are vegans or vegetarians or celiacs or lactose intolerant,” Wood said. “They could be Muslims or Seventh Day Adventists.”
The primary reason North Americans buy kosher is for its reputation for more careful production and inspection, market research firm Mintel said. In response to the market perception, Kosher Check will now require adherence to advanced food safety protocols such as Canada’s Hazard Awareness Critical Control Points (HACCP). It already requires food manufacturers to meet Canadian Food Inspection Agency minimum standards.
Kosher Check certifies food as having been prepared according to Jewish dietary laws and labels foods as dairy, a meat product or dairy free (pareve).
Certain animals, fowl and fish (such as pork, rabbit, catfish, shellfish and most insects) are not kosher, and even kosher species must be slaughtered and prepared in a prescribed manner. Dairy products must come from kosher animals. Meat and milk may not be combined, and ingredients within a kosher product must be kosher. Fruit and vegetables are kosher, but must be inspected and certified that they are not contaminated by anything non-kosher, such as insects.
Eighty per cent of global kosher sales are outside traditional Jewish markets, Wood said. “Kosher outpaces organic, natural and gluten (free) and continues to be the market leader in North America,” he said…continue reading at the Vancouver Sun website>>>