What is the OU’s Policy with Regard to Shmittah and Israeli Produce?

For the past 130 years, there has been a great Rabbinic debate over the propriety of selling Jewish farmland to non‐Jews to avoid the prohibitions of shmittah. Though many great Rabbis advocated in favor of this sale (known as the heter mechira), other equally great Rabbis stood in strong opposition. The OU does not rely on heter mechira when endorsing Israeli product. Therefore, during the shmittah year, produce grown in Israel is only OU certified when grown by gentiles or packaged from sixth‐year inventory.