OU Kosher, the largest and most recognized kosher certification organization in the world, will present a one-day seminar for the candy, snack, nut and confectionery industries at the Orthodox Union headquarters in New York, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 6.
Industry plant managers, directors of quality assurance, production and marketing as well as those responsible for a company’s kosher program are the prime beneficiaries of the seminar. The fee is $125 for the first company representative and $90 for each attendee thereafter. Lunch is included. (All companies within those industries are invited to attend, even if they have other kosher certifications or are not yet certified.)
OU experts will speak on topics of direct relevance to the targeted industries, with an emphasis on understanding the kosher certification process, the advantages of kosher certification, and suggestions on how to make the certification process as smooth as possible. Kosher certification, the seminar will make clear, brings with it a dramatic positive effect on the bottom line in the booming kosher market, which is growing at approximately 15 percent annually, and with consumers going well beyond the Jewish community, to include the lactose intolerant, Muslims, and those who buy kosher products because of their high quality.
To many, kosher is synonymous with the Orthodox Union. The famed OU symbol can be found on over 500,000 products manufactured in 83 countries around the world. Its hundreds of rabbis in the field report to some 50 Rabbinic Coordinators in New York, and confer with them on resolving issues of Jewish law as they relate to the constantly evolving food industry.
The upcoming seminar follows a highly successful and well-attended program for the dairy industry, which was held in late October and which drew an audience from many states and Canada.
The dairy seminar produced raves. “This was one of the most interesting and informative meetings I attended in a long time. Thanks for including me,” wrote one participant on his evaluation form. “It (the seminar) was very helpful. I have already shared this information with my team,” wrote another. “I am happy I went, and I appreciated the effort put into the event. Thanks for all your help and for all that the OU does for us,” was another comment. “This was an excellent program and I was impressed with the professionalism and expertise exhibited by your organization,” said another pleased participant. And finally, “My colleague and I both enjoyed the seminar. It gave us a better understanding of the importance of kosher.”
According to Rabbi Moshe Elefant, Chief Operating Officer of OU Kosher and Chairman of the Conference Committee, “The OU’s expertise in the candy, snack, nut and confectionary industries is based on years of certification of companies in these fields and our first-hand knowledge of ongoing trends regarding products, methods of production, equipment and consumer demand. Our experts will share this knowledge in such a way that company representatives – whether from certified or non-certified firms – will be enlightened and entertained at the same time.”
Sessions will include the following:
- Welcome and overview by Rabbi Menachem Genack, Chief Executive Officer of OU Kosher and by Rabbi Elefant;
- How to deal with dairy products manufactured on pareve (neither meat nor dairy) lines; suggestions and solutions;
- Understanding the kosher intricacies of ingredients;
- Maintaining an effective kosher program; and
- Special presentations by marketing professionals to help maximize a company’s reach to the kosher consumer.
One of the best received sessions at the dairy seminar was a presentation by an industry insider, describing his experiences running a kosher program; a similar session will be included.
The Conference Committee, besides Rabbi Elefant, includes Rabbi Michael Morris, Conference Coordinator, Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld, Associate Coordinator; Phyllis Koegel, Marketing Advisor; and Devorah Bree, Avigail Klein and Jessica Mendelsohn, Technical Coordinators.
Rabbinic Coordinators in the four industries include Rabbis Gad Buchbinder, David Bistricer, Aharon Brun-Kestler, Chaim Crupar, Chananel Herbsman, Shaul Gold, Nosson Goldberg, David Gorelik, Seth Mandel, Yitzchok Mincer, Nahum Rabinowitz, Kalman Scheiner, and Shmuel Singer.