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I received a call from a Rabbi who wants to meet with me about having my products certified Kosher. I asked if that meant regular honey house inspections and he said it has more to do with ingredients than anything else which I found puzzling. I would think eating a ham sandwich in the honey house wouldn't be "kosher", but who knows. I asked him if there was a fee and he said there was but wanted to discuss in person which immediately set off my sales pitch alert.

Does anyone here have a kosher certification for their honey? If so, does it significantly increase sales? I don't think there's a huge Jewish population here in middle GA, but would a kosher certification increase sales to non-Jewish folks due to the possible perception of increased cleanliness and purity?
 

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Does anyone here have a kosher certification for their honey? If so, does it significantly increase sales? I don't think there's a huge Jewish population here in middle GA, but would a kosher certification increase sales to non-Jewish folks due to the possible perception of increased cleanliness and purity?
well being that there is a huge russian jewish population in metro atlanta area, it could and quite possibly would be worthwhile since they only buy from each other and friends. You get a foot in the door of the community they will keep you busy.
 

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One rule about Kosher Cert is that you have stainless steel equipment hat has never had pork products processed in it. There is alot more to it than tha, of course.
 

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That would be a good question to ask the Rabbi.

Ask him if after you pay for the kosher cert. if he will guarantee enough sales to cover the cert charge from the Jewish community or others who are looking specifically for kosher honey.

See if he would cert your honey house and not charge for it, but for every pound of honey sold as kosher you will give a certain percentage to the local synagogue at the end of the year, (tax write off also).

Certifications are only good if they will pay for themselves. I agree with you, put the sales pitch on him.

Good luck with it.

G3
 

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From what I understand, the local Rabbi does not have the authority to certify you kosher. It has to be a special Rabbi. The local Rabbi may influence his congregation to buy from you, but it is unlikely he can actually certify you kosher.

I've heard getting the proper certification can cost around $3,000.

The designation of certified kosher can add more value to your honey than any other label - even more valuable than certified organic. (If you have an Orthodox Jewish market.)

I would think eating a ham sandwich in the honey house wouldn't be "kosher", but who knows.

That's correct. The ham sandwich would contaminate the kosher honey. You want to make sure no unclean foods have ever came in contact with anything that will ever come in contact with the honey.

Don't wash any honey processing equipment in the sink you washed dirty dishes that served unclean foods. (or don't tell the inspecting rabbi.) If you plan on using any kitchen equipment in the honey house, I would recommend getting brand new stuff, and only use it in the honey house. For example, don't use the rubber spatula from the kitchen - just buy one especially for emptying buckets.
 

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From what I understand, if you have 100% pure honey it is considered Kosher. The certification in honey's case has everything to do with how it is process then what is in it.

"One hundred percent pure, raw honey is kosher. When purchasing honey, be sure to check that it is certified as kosher by a reliable kosher agency, since non-kosher foods may have been processed on the same equipment, and non-kosher flavorings may have been added."

http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/712032/jewish/Why-Is-honey-kosher.htm
 

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I am pretty sure it was a "sales pitch". Just as when any organization offering organic certs. calls.

As he said, it has more to do with ingredients. Anything outside pure honey obviously becomes part of the ingredients. Holding it in an iron tank that leaches iron into the honey - iron is now an ingredient. Rubbing your greasy hands (from that sandwich) in the honey - ham is now an ingredient.

If you are producing pure honey you shouldn't have a problem.
If your sandwich is getting into the honey I would think you have a much bigger problem than cert. kosher. :rolleyes:

I am very sure that equipment can be used on non-kosher items but must be thoroughly cleaned afterwards (they have rules for how to do it).

Kosher Cert. comes from a number of different organisations (none "local"), so offering to give money based on sells will not be acceptable - no more than offering the same to organic cert..

Cert. Kosher is no different than Cert. Organic. It is there to let people who are interested (I being one) know that the product has passed at least a basic check list for what God's Word calls clean (of course kosher goes beyond that but that is a different discussion). There are many more people out there that like to see that kosher symbol than just Jews. Most Christians also follow the dietary laws given by God & Christ and use the cert. symbol to help make choices.

Of course the producer can lie to the inspector, or the inspector can lie about the inspection - but they will have to answer for that.

If you think it will help sales, you can try it - maybe they have some plan that allows a discount "entry" price? I think a lot of people understand that PURE honey (minus contaminations) is clean as God's Word makes clear - but some require more. I don't think anyone could garantee better sells for kosher or organic cert..

Mike
 

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Doing some research a couple years back for a business plan, I discovered some interesting data on organic & kosher products. Every market article I found stated that kosher product sales were growing at much greater rates than organic. The kosher symbol found on many food products doesn't do anything exciting to me personally, but means a lot to many consumers. If the fees are negligible, I would seriously consider it. It sounds unusual at best for a rabbi to be marketing the certification. I think there may be an underlying reason - maybe there is no kosher certified honey in the area and you could open up a nice market share.

Unrelated, but we have extremely few Jewish folks around here. However, we do have a couple of conservative religious groups Mennonite, German Baptist & Dunkard Brethren. These groups are closely knit and can be somewhat tough markets to break into. They are truly wonderful people to deal with once you earn their trust and business. Once these folks buy and like a product, they talk among themselves and sales increase. We've done well among their friends. Short of certifications, I feel a good honest marketing will do more, but as stated earlier, kosher means a very preferred product to some.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the information. I didn't mention that the Rabbi who called wasn't local but was part of a Kosher certification company caller Kosher Savannah -- so I believe he is in the business of certification. Some Google searches revealed that there are several Kosher certifying companies -- not sure if they all certify to the same standards or not.

Anyway, I think I'll hear him out and weigh the costs vs. benefits. If it costs $3000, that's a non-starter unless maybe I get some guaranteed sales in a contract ahead of time (at a premium price) to someone who needs kosher certified honey.
 

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I received a call from a Rabbi who wants to meet with me about having my products certified Kosher.
I'm sure he does.

IMHO, such certification is a racket - It seems that half of the food items in any grocery store are certified as Kosher. While it may only cost you and I pennies per item, those pennies add up and handsomely line the pocket of the certifiers.

I like the suggestion of one of the posters to get him to guarantee that you'll be able to move a baseline of product with this certification.
 

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Line the pockets? No more than any other business lines their pockets. I doubt you feel using the word "Pure" on you honey allows you to line your pockets. The businesses that provide a kosher cert are inspecting to make sure the product falls within (an over in some cases) the commands set by God.
It is no gimmick. There are many "natural" flavors that are actually made from unsuspecting sources. Such as Doritos (cheddar) has on it's label "natural flavors" which is actually derived from pork. There are many cases such as this.
So those who follow God's commands about dietary laws find the kosher symbols helpful.

No they don't all have the same standards but the basics are about the same.

Mike
 

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I would find a few people that keep kosher, and ask them about honey. I would think something that is "pure, unfiltered honey" would be ok for them to buy without a sticker. I would think it a safe bet noone ever spins a pig in their extractor. Of course I could be wrong.
For instance, your honey is not labled "gluten free" but everyone knows it is.
 

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I would find a few people that keep kosher, and ask them about honey..
I know of 6 people who keep kosher (but are not of Jewish nationality) who would not refuse to purchase pure honey even without a kosher symbol. Of course if they had suspicions about the production they may then start looking for ones with a symbol.

Mike
 

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I would listen to what he had to say. See what is required to become Kosher and if your operations can meet the standards. Then explain to him that you will comply, and that you will not charge him for the time and effort that you have to invest in order to become Kosher, but neither will he charge you for any Kosher certification. When you think about it the Kosher certification is a benefit to the Jewish community, and for your time and effort in meeting their standards you should receive more for your product. Under no circumstances would I pay him to become certified. You are expending your valuable time and effort to satisfy their needs. If your product is to be sold at the standard price, then you should charge them for this extra effort, after all, it is supposedly for their benefit. We should attempt to go that extra step to help all races or groups etc. but realize that it is for their benefit, and not yours.

Kindest Regards
Danny
 

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Would they also need to see where and how all wooden ware is made, beeswax and foundation is processed, and even where the stainless equipment is made?

After reading a little I did find that if anything non kosher comes into contact with kosher processing equipment may make it non kosher. Soooo if you laid that ham sandwich on your extractor, you just might have to replace your extractor.

A pretty good link to explain it

www.star-k.org/kashrus/kk-palate-honey.htm

There are MANY organizations that cert as kosher, but sounds like comb honey does not need it according to the above link.

G3
 

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...We should attempt to go that extra step to help all races or groups etc. but realize that it is for their benefit, and not yours...
:scratch: So expanding your market is for their benifit? It is not - for their benifit and not yours - it is absolutely for your benifit. It is marketing your product. It is just like getting an organic cert.. Are you doing it to benifit them and not you? Of course not. Now whether it will indeed benifit you in marketing you can only decide.

Would they also need to see where and how all wooden ware is made, beeswax and foundation is processed, and even where the stainless equipment is made?
That seems like a good question. In my opinion that is why "kosher" adds to what God said - He was pretty plain about things.

After reading a little I did find that if anything non kosher comes into contact with kosher processing equipment may make it non kosher. Soooo if you laid that ham sandwich on your extractor, you just might have to replace your extractor.
No. But most likely it would require the equipment to be cleaned thoroughly.

By the way do you really eat ham sandwiches while extracting? :scratch:

Mike
 
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