July 23, 2012

Major Kashrus Agencies and Vaadim Craft Closer Cooperation at AKO Conference

TORONTO -- Rabbis representing kashrus agencies from North America, Europe and Australia gathered here July 15-17 for the AKO (Association of Kashrus Organizations) Vaadim Conference. While the conference covered many kashrus topics, the big news was a new sentiment of cooperation that had emerged between the major kashrus organizations and the Vaadim (local kashrus committees). For example, the national agencies agreed to a formula that would allow a Vaad to continue collecting a portion of the fees when a company moves on to a national certification. 

Rabbi Sholem Fishbane, who serves as the director of AKO and also as the Rabbinic Administrator for the Chicago Rabbinical Council (cRc), gave the Vaadim access to an important APP introduced by the cRc to search for the certification on ingredients.
Other topics covered included secrets of the kosher wine industry, partial certification of establishments (i.e. Slurpee Lists), imitation non-kosher (treife) products, new insect infestations, mashgiach training courses, party planners, drop-offs and other headaches, blowing the lid off sherry casks, and the milk industry in remote regions such as India.