July 11, 2016

BREAKING NEWS: Glatt Kosher Meat Purveyors Scramble for Sources as Demand Continues to Increase

New York - The closure of two more meat plants which produced kosher beef further compounds the kosher meat supply problem in the US, Kosher Today has learned. The plants had produced beef for Alle Processors, the nation’s largest producer of glatt kosher meat. The industry was still reeling from the bankruptcy of PM Beef Holdings which closed its plant last year. Over the years PM had produced quality kosher beef for such brands as International and Hebrew National and of late for Solomon’s, which sources say is in the midst of constructing its own plant. For companies like Alle, the void of not having sufficient supply from US plants means finding sources in places like Uruguay and Mexico. Beef from many other countries in South America who could possibly help fill the void are restricted from exporting their meats to the US due to USDA restrictions. Although there have been reports of spot shortages since last September, by and large the kosher companies have kept up with demand, which some sources say continues to increase by 10% - 12% a year. Israel, which is also faced with a shortage of capacity for beef production in its own country, imports from such countries as Poland and from many South American countries. As much as kosher continues to grow, it is still small by comparison to mainstream non-kosher meat. Plants that have agreed to allow kosher production say that kosher slaughter with all of its extensive requirements can disrupt operations of a plant and in the end is simply not worth it. Companies like Alle are constantly searching for new sources to make sure that the demand for kosher meat in the US is not disrupted. Industry sources say that an affluent younger Orthodox community is buying more beef products than ever before.  They also say that the growing number of upscale kosher restaurants and hotel programs is adding to the demand. Finally, they say that natural growth particularly amongst Chasidic and Orthodox families is further making it necessary to find new sources of production.