A workshop "Peculiarities of Acquiring a Kosher Certificate"

Date: 06 June 2018

 The Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry hosted a workshop "Peculiarities of Acquiring a Kosher Certificate".

The workshop was organized under the BelCCI project "School of Export". Participants were provided with the information about the terms of obtaining the kosher certificate which confirms the compliance of the product with the Kashrut requirements. Kosher certification is a legal requirement for exporting a number of products to Israel and some other states.

The BelCCI Chairman Vladimir Ulakhovich, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the State of Israel to the Republic of Belarus Alon Shoham, the Chief Rabbi of the Union of Religious Jewish Congregations of Belarus Mordechai Raichinstein, the representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food of the Republic of Belarus, more than 80 Belarusian exporting enterprises took part in the event.

The BelCCI Chairman said that this is an interesting topic for the Belarusian business, which is confirmed by the high interest in the workshop on the part of Belarusian producers. Obtaining a kosher status will help Belarusian manufacturers increase export sales and compete more successfully in overseas markets.

"Today the kosher status has been granted to Belarusian manufacturers of dairy, meat products, sunflower oil and other goods. But this is not enough. There was some negative experience when the Belarusian enterprises had their certificates challenged, which resulted in significant losses for domestic producers. The task of the BCCI and the School of Export forum is to advise our manufacturers on how to apply for the certificate, to help them get in touch with our proven partners who issue this certificate," Vladimir Ulakhovich said.

Israel's Ambassador to Belarus Alon Shoham noted that the kosher certificate confirms the high quality of products, therefore kosher products are popular among consumers not only in Israel but also in many other countries around the world. "Kosher is not a national standard. This is a standard of quality. Kosher products are in demand in the United States and Canada, other countries," the Ambassador said.

Regarding the Israeli market Ambassador Alon Shoham noted that most retailers sell products that has any degree of kosher. To get into this market, Belarusian enterprises, especially manufacturers of meat products need to obtain such a certificate. "In Belarus there are a number of products that can compete in quality with foreign ones. Moreover, they are cheaper. But to promote these products in Israel, you need a certificate. The purpose of the workshop is to tell the Belarusian producers about the advisability of receiving such an instrument, to teach them how and where they can get it," the diplomat noted.

The Chief Rabbi of the Union of Religious Jewish Congregations of Belarus Mordechai Raichinstein emphasized that obtaining and use of a kosher certificate to a great extend depends on trust in the issuing authority. "It's important that an expert in kosher certification be an authority figure from the point of religious issues in order for a consumer to trust in such a certificate," he said. "Therefore, Belarusian companies shall entrust the kosher certification of their products to a competent and reliable expert".

Mordechai Raichinstein also said that a number of Belarusian manufacturers reported a 20-30% increase in the export after receiving the certificate not only thanks to the deliveries to the Israeli market but also to other countries such as Canada, United States.

The workshop participants were informed on the kosher certification requirements in Israel, Europe and the USA, the types and peculiarities of kosher certificated. The workshop was followed by a Q&A session.