Quest International, the sixth largest flavors and fragrance manufacturer in the world, switched its kosher certification to the Orthodox Union, for production at its Owings Mills, MD facility. The change became effective February 1.
In a letter to customers, Anand McClurg, Global Kosher Coordinator of Quest, explained the reasons for the change. They include:
- “OU Kosher is the world’s largest and most widely recognized kosher certification agency, certifying more than 400,000 products produced in over 6,000 plants located in 80 countries around the world.
- The OU, termed a ‘coveted seal of approval’ by The New York Times, is one of the world’s best-known trademarks. Comparing it to the UL, Forbes Magazine wrote, ‘If you want to know your food is kosher, you can look for the Orthodox Union’s OU symbol.’
- Quest already uses the OU for kosher certification at our other U.S. plants (Itasca and Silverton).
- Uniformity of one rabbinical agency for kosher certification of Quest products that are manufactured in the U.S. will improve planning and production efficiency.”
Rabbi Menachem Genack, CEO of OU Kosher, expressed satisfaction with Quest’s decision. “We are delighted that Quest International will now be OU certified at all of its plants. Our relationship with the company is very good, and we expect that the switch to the OU in Owings Mills will have substantial benefits for the company, as well as for OU Kosher.”
According to Rabbi Moshe Elefant, Chief Operating Officer of OU Kosher, “Whenever we certify a flavor house, particularly one as large and complex as the Quest facility, it is a challenging effort. Through the combined talents and efforts of the OU rabbinical staff and the Quest team, we have been able to achieve a first-class kosher certification program that both of our organizations can be very proud of.”
Rabbi Nathan Neuberger, the OU Rabbinic Coordinator for the flavors industry, also welcomed the decision. “Quest’s customers have let us know that they are very happy with the decision to be exclusively OU certified,” he said. “They know that when a product is OU, it is a guarantee of the highest level of certification.”