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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ON
- I have a Halal certificate. Do I also need a kosher certificate? Why canít I just used my Halal certificate and send it to the client asking for kosher?
Kosher and Halal are intrinsically different. Halal is food that adheres to the Muslim dietary laws and Kosher is according to the Jewish dietary laws. Although kosher and halal have some similarities, they are different and they reflect what consumers want for their products consumed. One has to get each of them separately and keep the conditions of their laws respectively. Therefore it is impossible for either to cover each other.
- 2. Do I need to engaged a USA based kosher agency to certify my products for sale in the USA?
This is absolutely NOT true. Although US based kosher agencies are better known among consumers in the US, it does not mean your product has to certified by a US kosher agency in order to sell as kosher. This is even more so if you are an industrial supplier of food ingredients whose end customer is not a consumer but a company using your product for further manufacturing. You should look for a reliable and acceptable kosher agency that is internationally recognised. Check what other companies are certified by that particular kosher agency and do your own research. It could save you thousands of dollars from which kosher agency you choose.
- 3. If I have engaged one agency must I always renew with this agency each year?
Again this is not true. As with all suppliers of service, if you are not getting the service from them, phone calls ignored, late replies to your queries, to a yearly increase (sometimes substantial) with your fees, one must question and find alternative suppliers for this service. If it this is how you look at other services that your company engages, so to with it should also be used to decide your kosher certification. However if everything seems to be well, then it is good to build a long term relationship with your kosher agency. Do not be afraid of asking for a reduction in the fees if there is cost constraint on your part. However one must be reasonable. As with every service, kosher certification is a highly specialised and well recognised service. It is not free.
- 4. My client has informed me that I have to engaged their kosher agency and unless I am certified by them, I cannot sell to them.
This is a sensitive issue. First you need to understand and clarify the origin of the requirement. Do not be afraid to call the kosher agency of your client and ask what the issues at hand are and find out more. One must be level headed when choosing a kosher agency and not have to take irrational decisions just to save a contract. If you have already have a kosher certificate and it is not accepted by your client, one must get to the bottom of the issue and then refer the problem to the kosher agency you have engaged. It is their responsibility to be responsive to any certification they give. We have seen companies have several kosher certification just to please their clients costing thousands of dollars when all they needed is one kosher certificate.
- 5. My product is artificially made and have do not use any animal based ingredients in the production of this product. Can I just give a declaration to this effect instead of having to pay for a kosher certificate?
A general declaration does not really give the information that a consumer or a client is seeking which is an independent inspection and verification that is required. Even though your product is made using artificial ingredient, there might be additional processes that still requires a kosher certificate and inspection to verify that it does adhere to the guidelines. Some common issues are processing aids, shared equipment and even transportation of the product that may cross contaminate with the final product.