August 17, 2021

Israelis Looking to Move Meat Production from Poland

Tel Aviv…No sooner had Poland's president signed a bill that set limits on the ability of Jews to recover property seized by Nazi German occupiers and retained by post-war communist rulers then some in Israel were calling for economic sanctions against the Poles. Israel had already recalled its ambassador from Warsaw. One of the major areas of trade between the countries is the considerable kosher meat production in Poland valued by some at $500 million. Despite a soaring demand for beef in Israel, it does not raise cattle and must rely on kosher slaughter in countries like Argentina. Poland is desirable because it is closer to Israel than South America and has relatively cheap labor. Israeli food sources say that the lucrative kosher business has continued in Poland despite the country’s laws on the books that ban kosher slaughter unless the animals are stunned first. The Israelis say that what has made it more difficult to leave Poland is to find a European country that is prepared to defy EU regulations on schechita, has sufficient cattle, and modern state-of-the art production facilities. It is for that reason that the Israelis have swallowed the bitter Polish pill and continued production in Poland. The Poles, on the other hand, are wont to give up the lucrative business and have turned a blind eye to anti schechita legislation on the books and considerable pressure from animal rights groups.