Argentina to Fly in Rabbis From Israel to Certify Kosher Meat Despite Closed Borders

The trip is key to Argentina being able to maintain beef exports to key buyer Israel, which has become increasingly important with exports stalled to the EU and China

Reuters
Reuters
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
A chicken with a tag in Spanish and Hebrew is seen at a kosher butcher shop in Buenos Aires, Argentina May 20, 2020.
A chicken with a tag in Spanish and Hebrew is seen at a kosher butcher shop in Buenos Aires, Argentina May 20, 2020. Credit: Agustin Marcarian/Reuters
Reuters
Reuters

Argentina, which has enforced one of the world's toughest travel bans against the coronavirus, plans to help charter a private flight to bring in rabbis from Israel to certify meat at the country's packing plants for kosher markets around the world.

The trip is key to Argentina being able to maintain beef exports to key buyer Israel, which has become increasingly important with exports stalled to the European Union and sharply down to major buyer China.

The global lockdown meant to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus has snarled this year's plans with borders closed and air travel paralyzed worldwide.

"The only alternative has been to be able to try to arrange a charter in combination with Israeli clients, and supervised, authorized and coordinated by the governments," said Mario Ravettino, head of Argentina's ABC meat export consortium.

Argentina is the world's fifth largest beef exporter and Israel is the No. 3 buyer of its famed cuts, snapping up over $100 million each year, Ravettino said.

The rabbis normally make the trip twice a year and stay for a few months, as many as 15 rabbis in plants at a time. They ensure the cattle are slaughtered and the meat processed in accordance with Jewish law.

Lisandro Sabanיs, an Argentine foreign ministry spokesman, confirmed the government was helping to make arrangements for the rabbis. He did not say when they would arrive.

Argentina has banned commercial flights until September, allowing only citizens and residents to enter on special flights and has imposed a strict national quarantine.

Rabbi David Faour, owner of South America Kosher (SAK), a local company certifying kosher production, said the rabbis were needed for lack of people locally who could certify the meat was kosher, a word derived from the Hebrew word meaning fit to eat.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Trump and Netanyahu at the White House in Washington, in 2020.

Three Years Later, Israelis Find Out What Trump Really Thought of Netanyahu

German soldier.

The Rival Jewish Spies Who Almost Changed the Course of WWII

Rio. Not all Jewish men wear black hats.

What Does a Jew Look Like? The Brits Don't Seem to Know

Galon. “I’m coming to accomplish a specific mission: to increase Meretz’s strength and ensure that the party will not tread water around the electoral threshold. If Meretz will be large enough, it will be the basis for a Jewish-Arab partnership.” Daniel Tchetchik

'I Have No Illusions About Ending the Occupation, but the Government Needs the Left'

Soldiers using warfare devices made by the Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems.

Russia-Ukraine War Catapults Israeli Arms Industry to Global Stage

Flame and smoke rise during an Israeli air strike, amid Israel-Gaza fighting, in Gaza City August 6, 2022.

Israel Should End Gaza Operation Now, if It Can