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From: tarpon27@yahoo.com
Newsgroups: calgary.general,soc.culture.jewish,alt.revisionism
Subject: Re: BOYCOTT THE COR- Religious Tax on Our Homegrown Canadian Food!
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On Mon, 7 Jan 2002 12:00:33 -0800, "Waldo" 
wrote:



>Your idiotic figures corrected, the (ridiculously deceptive) figure you are
>trying to arrive at would be $0.65 cents per century, or 0.0065 cents per
>year. Even with the numbers corrected, do you actually believe the shit you
>are spouting, Adam?

I'm not Adam, and I made the mistake in the multiplication.

>Of course you don't.

Kind of the heart of the matter, isn't it? What does it cost
*consumers* for the cost of certifying products kosher?.

The Birds Eye figure was from the May, 1975 NY Times article reference
("Calling It Kosher: How and Why", _NY Times_, May 18th, 1975, p. F3;
I don't have the actual article, just the cite.)

>From the ADL site article:

[...]
The cost to the consumer for this service is a miniscule fraction of
the total production overhead; it is so negligible in practical terms
as to be virtually non-existent. A May 18, 1975 New York Times article
reported that the cost to General Foods' "Bird's Eye" Unit, for
example, is 6.5 millionths (.0000065) of a cent per item. Furthermore,
a representative of the Heinz Company has said that the per item cost
is "so small we can't even calculate it," and that such labeling
actually makes products less costly by increasing the market for them.

Indeed, according to marketing manager Steven Zamichow, quoted in the
Washington Post, "Entenmann's Inc. received kosher certification in
1981 and sales of [its] baked goods 'increased substantially.' "
Visits to the Entenmann's plant from a "mashgiach" or kashruth
inspector, are provided by the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations
of America. The UOJC is one of several groups that maintain such a
kosher inspection service, certifying foods and related products to be
in compliance with Jewish dietary laws through all phases of
production. The profit from these products goes, of course, to the
companies that manufacture them and the stores that sell them, not to
"the Jews."
[...]

http://www.adl.org/special%5Freports/kosher%5Ftax/kosher%5Ffacts.html

>From a source I imagine you will find more philosophically in line:

-------------------------------
I decided to email a few companies about their kosher certification.
Here are a few that I recieved a reply to. I could see a trend so
haven't mailed any more companies. 
  
General Mills

> I just became aware of the kosher foods symbol on products. I was 
> wondering how much of this cost, of having a rabbi bless my food, is 
> passed on to me? I am not jewish and am curious. 

Dear Consumer - Thank you for contacting us at the General Mills
Corporate Web Site. To answer your question, the cost of having a
Rabbi certify our products is less than 1/20,000 of one penny per food
package. It is not expensive, but is a service we provide for a large
number of consumers who choose to keep a Kosher diet. 

Thank you for your questions. If there is any other way we can be of
help to you, please let us know! 
General Mills Consumer Services 
 

DOW

>I noticed a U with a circle around it on my Saran Wrap. 
>I know this is a kosher symbol and was wondering why a 
>rabbi would bless plastic wrap, since it's not for 
>consumption. Also, what cost is passed to me, a non-Jewish 
>person? General Mills mailed me back the cost and reason 
>so I hope you will too. 
  
SARAN WRAP IS NOW DISTRIBUTED BY S.C.JOHNSON. PLEASE CONTACT THEM FOR
ASSISTANCE @ 800-428-4795 
  

S.C.Johnson

The reason the SARAN WRAP carries the kosher symbol is because there 
is a possibility of the product coming in contact with food. This is 
mainly a concern during Passover. The process of getting these
products blessed should not be reflected in what you, as a consumer,
pays. Since SC Johnson just took over control of these product, it is
hard to say if the kosher characteristic will continue or not. This is
the first time SC Johnson has had to deal with products being in
contact with food and the concern within the Jewish community with
these product being kosher or not. 
If we can be of further help, feel free to contact us again. 

Sincerely, 

SC Johnson Wax 
Consumer Resource Center 
  

Proctor and Gamble

>I noticed that my Dawn dishwashing soap has a U with a circle 
>around it signifying it is kosher. I wonder why soap is kosher and how much 
>does it cost me, a non-Jewish person to pay for this service? 

This labeling is important to a large number of consumers for
religious reasons. The cost of certifying this product as Kosher is
minimal and does not affect the selling price of the product. 

Mary, 
USA Consumer Correspondence Team 

SC Johnson's reply one year later 

I mailed SC Johnson about finding the circle u symbol. They have a
form page and I don't have a copy of that mail I send via that page. I
copied the mail above to them, then asked them how much they pay a
rabbi to bless their products. This is their reply: 

Dear Janice, 

Thank you for your recent e-mail regarding the inspection of products 
by a rabbi to make them kosher. We appreciate your interest in this, 
however, due to the confidentiality of manufacturing costs we are
unable to share this information. SC Johnson is privately held and not
required to give out such information. 

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. 

If we can be of further help, feel free to contact us again. 
--------------------

http://women.stormfront.org/correspondence.html

"Women.stormfront.org" is an organization for Aryan women, as its home
page states. There is no date for these emails, but on a previous
page, she has the year 2000 for the info on the costs of kosher.


This is from the OU organization, the largest certifying group in the
US:

---------------
Must a food manufacturer charge more money for his product to cover
the cost of Kosher supervision?

Almost never. The actual cost of supervision is generally minimal. The
increased sales which are generated by the Kosher certification
program more than compensate for the additional Kosher related costs.

How much does supervision cost?

This is a very broad question and there is no general answer. Every
Kashruth agency employs its own price structure to establish a
certification fee. However, one very important factor in determining
the fee is the out of pocket expenses that will be incurred during the
inspection program. The actual cost of inspections depends on a number
of variables, such as the distance that the inspector must travel to
the plant, the mode of available transportation, the frequency of
visitation that will be required, and the length of time of an average
inspection. Another important consideration is the amount of
administrative time that is necessary to oversee the Kosher program.

http://www.ou.org/kosher/kosherqa/supervis.htm
-----------------

>From this information, we have the following:

1. Bird's Eye at $0.0000065 per item (in a 1975 article);

2. Heinz saying it is so small it cannot be calculated (from the same
1975 article; Heinz was the first company certified by OU)

3. General Mills at 1/20,000th of a penny, or $0.000005 (from the
Ayran women's site, and I assume circa 2000)

4. Procter and Gamble saying the cost is minimal (from the Aryan
women's site again)

5. OU, the largest certification organization, states on their web
site that the cost is minimal.

To me, there are two constants here: it is difficult to find
information on the actual costs, but from the limited data, it appears
that the cost of certification is minute in terms of large processors.



>There are at least five MAJOR Kash-R-Us organizations operating on a
>national scale un the United States: OU, OK, Star-K, Star-D, and K of K and
>close to a hundred smaller organizations.
>
>http://www.kashrut.com/agencies/
>
>We know that the OU **alone** has revenues in excess of $20 million per year

[...]
Orthodox Union, whose circle U symbol appears on close to 75 percent
of all kosher products worldwide, is the big bagel of the kosher
certification industry. The nonprofit organization approves more than
250,000 products made by 2,400 companies and 4,760 plants in 68
countries. It has 50 rabbis on staff in New York and hundreds more
around the world and reportedly takes in more than $20 million a year.

   Welton's organization is just one of about 275 kosher rating
agencies in the United States and 400 around the world, according to
Rabbi Yosef Wikler, publisher of Kashrus Magazine in Brooklyn. 
   Until the past century, before so many foods were manufactured and
packaged outside the home, kosher certification was relatively simple,
and rabbis often supervised kosher food producers part time and for
free. But as foods have become increasingly complex with flavorings,
oils, additives and preservatives, supervision has become far more
arduous. 
   Depending on the type and complexity of food products, inspections
range from twice a year to full time. Plants that process kosher meat,
poultry and dairy products are the most labor intensive by far. 
[...]

http://detnews.com/2001/food/0104/09/c09-208222.htm


>(I'd say $50 million is a closer estimate), and that's JUST the OU, 

You would, huh? And based on what?


>and this
>from **Kosher fees alone**, and it DOESN'T take into account the monies
>spent by the companies to **comply** with the demands of the Rabbis, which
>is certainly MUCH higher than the fees themselves.

If a company has to spend money to comply and achieve certification,
that would entail, and correct me if I am wrong, probably the
following:

1. Purchase of raw materials and/or ingredients that meet kosher
requirements;
2. Upgrading equipment;
3. Training individual quality control managers in-plant;
4. Changing processing lines, techniques, methods, or scheduling;
5. In some industries, *possibly* requiring full-time rabbis in-plant
(meat packing and poultry as listed in the Detroit _News_ article; the
dairy I have questions on, that I will define below)



>The OU is the Big Jew on the block, so, added together, all of the Kosher
>fees paid to the Kash-R-Us organizations in the US would easily surpass $100
>million.

Okay...let's say you are correct.

Anyone who has ever worked in the food industry in processing and
manufacture knows the prime market: retail grocery stores.

-------------
Keeping kosher is not just a way of living, it's a big business. 

   "Americans spend $486 billion on food, and about $150 billion of
that is kosher-certified, whether they know it or not," says Menachem
Lubinsky, president of Integrated Marketing Communications, a New York
company that researches kosher products.
 
http://detnews.com/2001/food/0104/09/c09-208222.htm
-----------

The article above claims $486 billion on food; at

http://www.economagic.com/cenret.htm

...one can download the actual US Census Bureau figures for grocery
store sales;  in 2001 that equals approximately $435 billion in sales,
with my use of $37,500,000,000 in sales for December, 2001 which is
the only month missing.

Basically, then, using your cost figure of $100,000,000 (that you have
no basis for) that the various organizations charge, what are the
costs of kosher certification versus grocert store sales to consumers?

Looks to me like the cost of kosher fees per your figure of $100
million per total groceries sold in the US of $435 billion equals
about 0.00023%.



>Add to that the hundred$ of million$ (my estimate - conservative) that
>companies must spend on the labor, materials, equipment and down time
>necessary to comply with the Rabbis' demands.

ROFL!

This line of reasoning leads one to believe that a food
manufacturer/processor operating at what I would consider a profit
margin of 2 to 5% (net) annually would bankrupt his business for
kosher certification? That's *nonsense*.

Kosher meats cost more than that processed by Purdue, Tyson, IBP,
Excel, etc., (for chickens and beef) because of the increased costs of
kosher certification, including ritual slaughter, processing, etc.
Compare the costs of kosher chicken to your basic grocery store
chicken from a major processor. 

----------
   Depending on the type and complexity of food products, inspections
range from twice a year to full time. Plants that process kosher meat,
poultry and dairy products are the most labor intensive by far. 
   For example, Elefant says that a Heinz plant that processes both
vegetarian beans and pork and beans requires full-time rabbinical
supervision. 
   However, you would find the biggest flock of mashgichim (the plural
of mashgiach) at Empire Kosher Poultry in Mifflintown, Pa. Processing
a kosher chicken, it turns out, takes three times longer than a
regular bird. 
   At Empire, more than 80 Orthodox Union rabbis work full time
slaughtering chickens by hand, checking each one for disease or other
problems, washing the birds in cold, running water and salting each
one. If there is a disagreement about any part or particular, another
rabbi is consulted. 
   Not surprisingly, a kosher chicken costs more than double a regular
chicken. But such price disparities are the exception. 

http://detnews.com/2001/food/0104/09/c09-208222.htm
-------------

(I am surprised that the cost is only double what a chicken processing
plant's chickens are.)


Most food manufacturers have very few hoops to jump through to become
certified as kosher, so costs are minimal. 

I worked for the largest privately owned dairy in the US which is also
the largest copacker of ice cream in the country. Most of their
products are kosher certified but some are not due mostly to additives
or ingredients.

On the other hand...

In kosher law, equipment used to produce non-kosher items cannot be
used to produce kosher items. The easy way around this was absurdly
simple: kosher items are run first on the processing equipment, then
non-kosher items are run. Kosher allows for the same equipment to be
used the next day as long as the equipment is santized before use on
kosher items. 

Considering the fact that all the equipment and over 200 miles of
stainless piping is washed, then disinfected (not just sanitized),
then rinsed every day, there are no costs involved. This, in the dairy
industry, considered to require more intensive scrutiny.

The simple fact is that at that dairy, had they been required to
effectively purchase two lines of processing equipment to have kosher
certification, they would not have. The ice cream manufacturing
equipment, and especially for novelities (ice milk and ice cream bars,
popsiciles, push-ups, drumsticks, etc.) is so expensive that it would
been financially disastorous to do so. When a single Gramm machine to
make ice cream bars is $25 million, no one lets plant assets at that
price sit idle for the sake of kosher certification.


>Keeping in mind that there are only somewhere between 800,000 and 2,000,000
>Jews who might be even remotely interested in the vast majority of products
>that are certified as Kosher, and that most major foods manufacturers
>operate at close to a 10% profit margin at the *manufacturer* price level,
>where do you suppose all of this money must be coming from?

There are an estimated 10,000,000 active purchasers of kosher products
in the US market.

*What* money? 

First, the cost of certification entails paying for the inspection,
which includes transportation, food, ground transport, meal(s), etc.
for the Rabbi. By the way, in today's market, the Rabbis are trained
in food science; they understand the manufacturing process. They know
raw ingredients, the chemistry of additives, the process any
manufacturer goes through to convert raw goods to finished products.
In the dairy business, they know which stabilizers, emulsifiers, etc.
are suitable for production of kosher goods. 

After the inspection, the certifying group and the manufacturer
negotiate the annual fee. At the dairy I worked at, with 2 fluid milk
plants and two ice cream plants, the cost under the original kosher
certifying body was $30,000 per year on sales of approximately $400
million per year. That according to the man in charge of purchasing
for the company who is also a family member owner.

He was the liason between the kosher organization and the dairy. He
also told me that they have since switched to the OU group, as OU is
approximately 75--80% of the total kosher certification in the world
market. He did not know the new fees, although they were higher, as OU
charges more (at least then their old certifying organization), and he
told me yesterday in a phone call, he would find out for me. That was
on 1/7/02.

Now, whether you would find me a credible source is certainly
understandable. 

However, your assertion of 1) total fees as $100 million for the
kashrut orgs is *your* estimate, and based on what evidence(?), and 2)
your assertion that manufacturers/processors incur huge costs to get
kosher certification is likewise *your* estimate, and I am guessing
you have little, if any, experience in the industry.

*If* a manufacturer had to incur huge costs to become kosher, his cost
of goods sold would rise so significantly that his competitors would
simply drive him out of business...why pay $5 a bottle for Heinz
ketchup when Hunts is $2.69? If he chooses to eat the cost of the
incurred costs, the consumer still does not pay for it; his business
loses profitability.

Getting your products in grocery stores is an extremely competitive
market; a store may hold 40,000 products with 5,000--6,000 new ones
introduced yearly to compete for limited shelf space.

You want to know what costs consumers? Try "slotting fees".

>I'll tell you where: From the pockets of the Goyim.

Good. Then how much? 

A question you cannot answer, nor anyone else on the infamous Kosher
tax. It appears that the cost of the inspection and fees are minimal,
maybe even microscopic, especially with the huge food corporations.
(In my experience in the dairy industry, the two largest ice cream
firms had $6 to 8 billion in sales, and were owned by large
multinationals, Nestle and Unilever.)

I am not sure I buy into the argument that going kosher is offset by
new sales, although entering major metro markets it probably is; in my
experience, entering, for the first time, markets like the Twin
Cities, Chicago, Detroit in the midwest required a kosher
certification for the market. Some of our cultured dairy products from
the fluid plants, like sour cream and chip dips not certified as
kosher, received letters and comments asking for them to become
certified. WHat that would translate into actual sales...I don't know.

Larger cities with larger populations of Jews, Seventh Day Adventists,
some Muslims, vegetarians, etc., it would seem prudent to have a
kosher certification to penetrate the entire market as much as
possible.

Now, there is also a strong movement to have Muslim products
certified.

>From the International Food Technicians, and highlights of the 2001
Expo and convention:

----------
Islamic Food and Nutrition Council exhibited the institution of Halal
to food processors, educators and regulatory bodies. Their goal is to
develop an awareness of Halal among all consumers, to make Halal foods
conveniently available to all consumers and to provide Halal solutions
to consumer needs. Supervising the production of Halal foods. The
coucil: certifies the production of Halal food, leads discussions
about topics affecting the Halal consumer, finds solutions for
ever-evolving challenges, publishes relevant information, and
maintains "best in class" procedures for Halal production. 


Star-K Kosher Certification exhibited its worldwide kosher
certification services. The organization, recognizing that new
companies considering going kosher are faced with the daunting task of
distinguishing between the relative merits of numerous agencies, has
published an in-depth article on choosing a suitable certification
organization. Star-K provides personal service, enabling clients to
discuss the complexities of their operations and kosher applications
with a rabbi sufficiently knowledgeable to converse comfortably with
food technologists and quality assurance personnel. 

http://www.ift.org/highlights/services.shtml
IFT Food Expo 2001 Highlights
----------

Halal certification is already active and growing, with new certifying
bodies for it, which makes Radio Islam's web site attacking kosher
certification look a bit hypocritical.

The cost of kosher certification to consumers is microscopic. Even
using your estimate of fees.


>Shalom!  o:-)>
>
>(Yidle deeedle didle deeedle didle deeedle didle dum!)
>
>Waldo
>
>Observer at Large

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On Fri, 11 Jan 2002 01:26:20 GMT, No Spam  wrote:

>On Fri, 11 Jan 2002 01:08:52 GMT,
>in bc.general
>tyler  used both functioning neurons to say:
>
>>If the profits made by the rabbinical organizations that are obtained
>>by the kosher food tax were turned over to the United Way Campaign
>>then perhaps that would solve any misconceptions all around?
>>
>>Who doesn't agree with this?
>
>Shit, I'd be happy if **all** the $$$ got turned over to a Synagogue, to
>help with congregation projects instead of lining someone's pocket.
>
>-------------------------------------------------------------
>  All your posts are belong to ECHELON!
>-------------------------------------------------------------


The largest kashrut organization is the Orthodox Union (OU), with over
75% of the world's kosher foods certified by them.

It is a non-profit organization made up of several divisions.

--------
[...]


Association with the Orthodox Union, which is a non-profit communal
organization. Because no one has any financial interest in the OU, the
staff of the Kashruth Department maintains the highest levels of
integrity without any possible conflict of interests. In addition to
providing supervision, the Orthodox Union coordinates many programs of
social welfare as well. 

[...]

What is the Orthodox Union?

The Orthodox Union of Jewish Congregations of America is a non-profit
communal organization which began over 100 years ago. In addition to
the Kashruth Department which offers Kosher supervision, the OU is
comprised of an array of different divisions that provide important
social services throughout the world. Among these departments are the
following:

The National Jewish Council for the Disabled (NJCD) which empowers and
transforms the lives of developmentally disabled individuals in the
United States by providing them with a range of activities and
services.

Synagogue Services which offers a comprehensive and meaningful array
of educational and religious programs to 1000 member synagogues around
the globe.

National Council of Synagogue Youth (NCSY) is the worlds largest
Jewish Youth organization which reaches 40,000 boys and girls in North
America, Europe and Israel with its educational and inspirational
programs.

The Pardes Project which promotes personal and spiritual growth
through monthly discussion groups on moral ethical topics.

[...]

http://www.ou.org/kosher/kosherqa/cert.htm
----------------

You two ever hear of some rather simple research prior to making
charges?

By the way, under a section on advantages you may understand that OU
has some significant costs involved here, plus the fact that the
rabbis are cross trained in the tradition of Kashrut but also they
have to know food technology. As an example, a dairy science degree is
a graduate degree. Ones I worked with were all PhDs.
 

Same source as above:





What are the advantages of choosing OU supervision? 
Who are some companies certified by the OU? 
What is the Orthodox Union? 
What happens when I apply for certification? 
How long does the certification process take? 
What about confidentiality? 
How often will a Rabbinic field inspector visit my plant? 
Why must I be inspected? Don’t you trust me? 
Does the OU accept ingredients that are certified by other Kosher
agencies? 
What is the difference between OU Dairy and OU Pareve? 
What does Kosher for Passover mean? 
How do I find out more about OU supervision? 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What are the advantages of choosing OU supervision?

Largest and oldest Kosher supervising agency in the world. The OU has
supervised Kosher products for seventy five years. The OU certifies
over 2300 companies with 4500 plants in 70 countries around the globe
with a total of over 300,000 labels. 
Name recognition around the world as a symbol of excellence in Kosher
supervision. 
New York headquarters office staff of 50 Rabbis who are ready to serve
as account executives for OU certified companies. 
Nearly 500 Rabbinic field representatives who are available to visit
plants in every part of the globe. These Kashruth personnel are
proficient in the intricacies of Jewish law, modern food production
and chemical and biological processes. 
State of the art computer system to store and track ingredients and
product information. The OU database contains information on more than
170,000 food ingredients. 
Free advertising in the OU Kosher Directory which is sent to all OU
certified companies and is sold to thousands of consumers. The OU also
regularly features new products in its magazine, Jewish Action, which
enjoys a circulation of 40,000 copies, and on its web site
(http://www.ou.org). 
Association with the Orthodox Union, which is a non-profit communal
organization. Because no one has any financial interest in the OU, the
staff of the Kashruth Department maintains the highest levels of
integrity without any possible conflict of interests. In addition to
providing supervision, the Orthodox Union coordinates many programs of
social welfare as well. 
Who are some companies certified by the OU?

Alberto-Culver, American Home Foods, Armour Foods, Best Foods Baking,
Borden Foods, Chock Full O’ Nuts, Coca Cola, Colgate Palmolive,
Dannon, Dow Chemicals, Drake Bakeries, Durkee, Elite, Empire Kosher,
Entenmann’s, General Mills, Green Giant, Haagen Dazs, Hershey’s, Hiram
Walker, Slim Fast, J.M. Smucker, Kraft, Land O’ Lakes, Lever Bros.,
Manischewitz, McCormick & Co., Nabisco, Nestle’s, Nutrasweet,
Pepperidge Farm, Pillsbury, Proctor & Gamble, Sara Lee Bakery,
Starkist, Thomas J. Lipton Tea Co., Van Camp Seafood, Welch, White
Rock, 3M Corp… and many more.
 


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