May 22, 2020


Argentina set to fly in rabbis for kosher meat certification despite COVID-19 restrictions


Argentina plans to bring in rabbis from Israel to certify kosher meat for worldwide kosher markets, even though it has imposed one of the toughest travel bans because of COVID-19, Reuters reported.


The plan aims to retain beef exports to Israel, a key purchaser especially as exports have slowed down to the European Union and a previous major buyer, China.


Mario Ravettino, Argentina's ABC meat export consortium head said the chartered flight to bring in Israeli rabbis will be supervised, coordinated and authorised by both governments.


Ravettino said Argentina is the fifth biggest exporter of beef globally, while Israel is third highest buyer of Argentinian beef with US$100 million in purchases annually.


Normally, rabbis are flown into Argentina twice every year and stay for a few months. Each plant would have about 15 rabbis to make sure slaughtered cattle and processing of meat adhere to Jewish law.


Argentina's current travel bans prohibit any commercial flight until September, with entry into the country for citizens and residents on special flights.


Rabbi David Faour, owner of South America Kosher (SAK) said rabbis from Israel are required as there is not enough rabbis locally that can certify kosher meat. SAK is a company that certifies kosher meat.


-      Reuters