Some Public Information on Private Label Requests

June 11, 2007

We at the OU product department are responsible for processing all of your company’s product requests (new prod-ucts, changes, terminations, and private label applications). While we are on the topic of private labels, we thought it might be a good time to mention a couple of points when sending private label requests to our office.

The Request Form Itself: If you love filling out forms, would you please raise your hand? Paperwork seems
tedious, and often is. Here at the OU, there is “method to our madness.” Every private label needs to be submitted formally because there are many mistakes we can avoid by processing a fully completed form.

Here’s a time-saving tip. You can download a Private Label request from the OU website (or ask your RC to e-mail it in Word format). Fill out the manufacturing company information and then save it. Each additional private label request will only require you to fill in the “important” details (i.e., the specific information about the new label company and products).

Label Company Information: For the record, please let me explain what we mean by “Label Company.” We need the name of the owner of the label, which is NOT necessarily the distributor. On the contract for “Mrs. Mahoney’s Magnificent Mango Marzipan Munchies,” only Mrs. Mahoney herself (not her exclusive distributor, “Diet Denying Delectables” ) may sign the contract. Multiple distributors arranged through one buying cooperative require a separate application and Private Label Agreement for each distributor.

The reason is that we cannot legally obligate the label company as a whole not to violate the terms of kosher certification if the signatory is not a company representative. As much as we love distributors, this form is between the label company and the OU, not the distributor.

Contact Information: Without the correct contact information, the OU has no idea where Mrs. Mahoney lives, and her Mango Marzipan Munchies will melt and get moldy waiting for her OU contract to arrive. Please send us her e-mail, phone, fax and address.

Product Information: Please tell us the exact name of the product for which you are requesting information. If the form just says “Mango,” we will not know what your company is making for Mrs. Mahoney, which quite frankly is mildly maddening. Please write out the whole name (and perhaps send us a label with the request).

Okay, we cleared the form (whew!) and we have just a few stray thoughts left to point out:

If your private label company changes its address, contact person, etc., please tell us. This is true if someone else buys out the label company too.We sometimes need to contact the label company.

Please send us a private label termination form. At the very least, let us know when you are no longer making the pri-vate label, so that we can commiserate over Mango Marzipan Munchies together.

Can you give us some lead-time on changes? Please let us know in advance of your request for an updated kosher certificate if some changes need to be made to private label products. All the requests should be sent in one month in advance of anticipated date of production.

Bills, bills, bills. We charge each label company a $200 annual fee. Please send the invoice payment along with each signed contract, and remember that the annual label invoice is separate from the certification invoice.

We at the OU Product Department thank you for listening, for sending us all the paperwork stuff we ask for, and most of all, for those Marzipan Munchies. Mrs. Mahoney, you’re the best!


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