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Torah Scrolls in the Ark

Kosher Certification Process

For companies and establishments that wish to check the possibility of kosher certification, we have
compiled a list of issues that should be taken into account before starting the certification process:

 

1. To get a kosher certificate, it is necessary to make sure that the product contains only kosher
ingredients. The suppliers who supply these components to the company must also be permanent. If
the company wishes to change supplier for the purchase of a certain component, it must obtain
prior approval from the Kosher certification organization.

 

2. If one of the necessary specific components (for example Certain flavorings) is not available
kosher - kosher certification will not be possible.

 

3. There are products for which kosher certification is required to verify and supervise only the
ingredients, but there are other food products for which the inspector Rabbi is required to be
involved in the actual production process. Every product in accordance with the rules of Jewish law.

 

4. The convenient and easy way to get kosher approval for a factory is that the entire factory
produces only kosher, or at least has special facilities for kosher products. In the event that the same
facility is intended to use a kosher production line and a non-kosher production line, this would pose
a problem for the risk involved and the closer supervision to verify the kosher. Consent to kashrut is
also possible in these situations, but may be more expensive and complex.

 

5. The cost of kosher certification is higher than providing organic health certification for products.
The reason for this is because in kosher certification the inspection process is different, and the
inspection is closer and more frequent. For more information about the differences between them
please contact us.

6. If a company received kosher certification from some kosher organization in the past and violated the terms of the contract - other kosher organizations will refrain from providing it with kosher services in the future for fear of repeated violations

If you are interested in checking the possibility of getting certification and a kosher stamp for your factory or products - you are welcome to contact us and we will respond as soon as possible.

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What Kosher Inspections Focus On
 


Kosher inspections are generally concerned with the following:

Verifying that the approved ingredients and suppliers that your company uses to make your now Kosher certified product are being maintained. We need to insure that approved ingredients are not being substituted with non-approved ingredients.  We need to confirm that your suppliers as well remain approved, to insure that your company keeps its kosher certification.


As part of the Kosher certification process you will receive an approved ingredient List. 


Making sure that equipment on which kosher certified products are processed have not been tainted by the introduction of non-kosher ingredients.


Maintaining that kosher symbols are being applied to only kosher-approved products. We make sure that dairy, parve and meat products are labeled with the correct and specific kosher designation on our Kosher symbol.


Verifying that no changes in the facility have been made that will compromise the kosher certification.

A quick outline of the process

Review Preliminary Information

 

Free Quote and Analysis

 

Contract Review

 

Complete Documentation

 

Payment

 

Inspection of Your Facilities

 

Certificate Issued

Seven Steps to Kosher


Step 1
Establish the viability of Kosher certification program through consultation and information gathering.
 
Step 2
Receive a free quote and analysis of what certification will cost, and what process is involved.
 
Step 3
Document all of ingredients, verifying their qualification for Kosher certification.
 
Step 4
Review and sign the certification services contract.
 
Step 5
On- site Inspection and verification.
 
Step 6
Payment for the Kosher certification.
 
Step 7
Obtain Kosher certificate and permission to add the Kosher Cebu hekshir mark to product packaging

To determine the viability of your product or product line becoming Kosher certified we need to understand some very specific information about your company’s operations.

Where exactly are your products made?

Is this facility firstly yours and secondly, dedicated to these Kosher intended products? If not what else is made there? What else do you plan to make there if anything?

How are your products made? Do you have a flow chart that describes the production process?

What are all the ingredients and processing aids used in the products you wish to become Kosher certified? If other products not intended for Kosher certification are made in the same facility we need the ingredients the Non-Kosher products are comprised of identified as well. It is very important to be comprehensive one ingredient can change the whole picture!

Do you have letters of Kosher certification from your suppliers for any of your ingredients?

If you use a contract manufacturer what is their contact information and address? What else to your knowledge is made or packed there? Have they made Kosher certified products before?

Where are your products packaged?

Does your company provide contract manufacturing services to others? If so what kind of products do you make or package for them?

If your production facility is in a country outside of the United States and Canada what is the airport that is nearest to your production facility? What is the distance between the airport and your facility? Is a company representative able to escort the Kosher inspector to and from the facility?

Has your company been Kosher certified before? If so, why was the program discontinued? If you are currently Kosher certified what is the reason you are seeking a change?

Is your company Jewish owned in part or whole? This relates to certain technical issues regarding Jewish holidays or flour based products. There is no preferential treatment of Jewish owned companies whatsoever.

Possible Obstacles to Kosher Certification

In order to have a kosher product you need to have kosher ingredients. These ingredients and their suppliers must also be stable. While kosher certification organizations do not restrict companies to a specific supplier of an ingredient, they do insist that any new supplier needs to be pre-approved by the kosher certification organization. If a company needs to retain the right to have a free hand at sourcing ingredients without pre-approval from the Kosher certification agency, this can, depending on what these ingredients are, be an issue that blocks kosher certification from being viable.


The easiest way to establish a kosher certification program is if a company has its own facility that is exclusively dedicated to kosher certified products. If a company controls the ingredients and equipment, then a kosher program is viable so long as these conform to Kosher certification requirements. When companies share a facility, produce kosher and non-kosher in the same facility, or use a Contract Manufacturer that produces non-kosher, it may be impossible to provide kosher certification under these circumstances. A kosher certification organization may deem this a high risk situation and won’t get involved or the company will nix the idea due to the cost of full-time Kosher supervision of production which can at times be required by the Kosher certification agency.  With that said, it is necessary to point out that there are facilities that produce kosher and non-kosher on the same equipment and within the same facility that are kosher certified and find it worthwhile and fiscally viable. These factors depend on the specifics of the company. Before coming to any conclusions, the best course of action is to discuss the specifics of your situation with us.


Kosher certification requirements are not limited to verifying kosher ingredients and equipment use. There are also for limited products where kosher requirements involve the production process itself that is to say certain food products require that the kosher inspector/supervisor actually be involved in the actual production process.  Kosher cheese and wine production are two examples of this scenario and there are some others. While kosher certification is possible in these situations, some company’s may find this process cost prohibitive or that the requirements are too restrictive.


Companies that provide Contract Manufacturing services to numerous companies may be averse to some kosher certification requirements. When working with companies that provide Contract Manufacturer services, the simplest situation is where the Contract Manufacturer commits to being a fully kosher facility. When this is not an option in the kosher certification process, keeping Kosher certification may require the frequent kosherization of equipment and more frequent inspections.  This will involve additional costs. While there are countless numbers of companies that engage kosher certification agencies under these circumstances, there are many others that don’t deem these certification costs worthwhile.


Some companies are committed to a very specific and exact ingredient. For example: wine, vinegar, cheese, or flavorings that are not available as kosher or do not offer kosher options that have the same quality, taste, or pricing, this will make kosher certification not possible.


If a company has been kosher certified in the past and violated its contractual terms (whether technical or fiscal violations) with its prior kosher certification organization, other kosher certifiers may be reluctant to work with this company. In these situations, the prospective kosher certifier will often contact the original Kosher certification agency for more information. However, given that kosher certification is essentially a risk management business, most kosher certifiers are averse to these kinds of situations unless there is a solid explanation for the violations with the prior agency or clear changes that have been made in ownership or management.


Companies sometimes assume that kosher certification pricing should be similar to Organic certification pricing. In these instances, these companies are not prepared for what a kosher certifier will charge to certify their products. At EarthKosher we offer affordable pricing for Kosher certification, however, please understand that this assumption is a conceptual flaw, rooted in a lack of understanding about Kosher vs. Organic certification requirements. It is necessary to understand that although each of these certifications conducts inspections and are concerned with equipment, ingredients, and issues of cross-contamination, the underpinnings of these various certifications are very different. For example, it is common for Kosher certification agencies to conduct monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly inspections. Other certifications often require an annual inspection if that. The more frequent the inspections, the more costly the certification. Thus expecting Kosher certification to cost what Organic certification costs is often a mistake as this is generally not an apples to apples comparison.


Some people mistakenly think that every single ingredient used in a Kosher certified product requires a Kosher Certificate to be approved as kosher certified. This is not an accurate assumption in some cases as there are many ingredients that are generally recognized as Kosher. However, there are ingredients that definitely do require a Kosher Certificate. When a Kosher Certificate is required, and if for example, ingredients are being produced in the Amazon Rainforest or in Central Africa and neither the producer, nor the company dealing directly with the kosher certification agency is willing to pay for the the kosher certification to allow for the required Kosher certificate for this ingredient this can be an obvious deal breaker.


There are a wide range of standards, competency ratings and levels of acceptance among the community of kosher certification organizations, which should be noted is a self- regulated industry. Consequently, there are some kosher certification organizations or individual rabbis whose Kosher certificate for an ingredient or product will not be accepted by other kosher certification organizations. If a company is sourcing an ingredient that requires a Kosher Certificate and if the ingredient or product is under the kosher certification of an agency that isn’t broadly accepted and a substitute ingredient or supplier is not available or acceptable to the company; these factors can cause significant issues when trying to move forward with Kosher certification.


Some people assume that being Jewish provides an edge in the kosher certification process. In fact, this may present some unique obstacles, the main issue relating to the Passover holiday. A Jew, as relevant to Kosher certification, is defined as someone born of a Jewish mother or a person who has converted to Judaism via an Orthodox rabbinic court. According to Jewish Law a Jews is restricted on the Passover holiday from owning products or derivatives that originate from wheat, barley, oats, spelt, or rye. The Passover holiday is an 8-day period during the Spring season. It is also a common requirement in Kosher certification that companies that are wholly Jewish-owned not produce grain-based or derived products during the Passover holiday. In most cases, companies that don’t respect this requirement will not proceed with Kosher certification. However, there are some creative solutions, such as having a non-Jewish partner, and other possible solutions that fall under the general category of legal fictions. To be clear, there are hundreds of companies who have faced these issues and found ways of successfully resolving them to become kosher certified by a reliable agency it does take some flexibility to resolve this issue absent which it can be an obstacle towards obtaining Kosher certification.


Animal food ingredients, whether from a land animal, fowl, or fish, are  highly sensitive ingredients in kosher law. These ingredient often requires full- time rabbinic supervision during production or at a minimum a more intensive and thus costly inspection regimen. Due to the extra supervision and costs involved, getting kosher certification for a product containing such an ingredient may be cost prohibitive for some but not all companies.

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