October 19, 2020

Israel Searches for New Sources of Kosher Slaughter as Poland Closes Up

Jerusalem…Israel continued to experience shortages of beef and lamb during the recently concluded holidays despite the absence of its traditional robust tourism during Sukkot. These shortages are expected to be compounded in the future by Poland’s move to prohibit exports of its $1.8 billion kosher and halal market. Poland and South America were key sources for Israeli meat importers but the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in the shutdown of some plants in South America. Small kosher markets in Europe also import meat from Poland and are extremely concerned about their future supply. Poland’s senate recently passed a law that will end its $1.8 billion kosher and halal meat export industry in 2025. Poland’s small kosher market will not be affected. Poland has about 20,000 Jews and a similar number of Muslims. The bulk of its many kosher and halal slaughterhouses produce meat for export. Originally intended to go into effect in 2022, Polish farmer and meat producer unions successfully fought to have the law postponed in connection with the economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. Israeli importers are aggressively searching for alternative sites for kosher slaughter in such countries as Romania.