The Kosher Kiwi is the hecsher (kosher mark) of the United Orthodox Hebrew Congregations of New Zealand which have offices in Auckland and Wellington.
The Kosher Kiwi Licensing Authority is headed by Rabbis N. Friedler and Y. Mizrahi.
Sheilot (questions on Jewish Law) are referred to either the Kashrut Authority of New South Wales Kashrut or Kosher Australia in Melbourne with whom we work in close conjunction. Likewise we consult with numerous poskim on different occasions and follow the general guidelines of major agencies such as OU and CRC.
- For infomation on kosher food available in New Zealand, please visit the Kosher Kiwi Directory tab
- For information on how to make your production kosher, please visit our Getting Certified tab.
- For information the Kosher Deli in Auckland, please visit the Greys Avenue Deli homepage.
Additionally, we are happy to work with you to cater kosher events at many venues locally. We also have caterers in the community who can work with large groups passing through New Zealand.
For further details, please contact us.
There are a number of key elements to Kosher certification. The Jewish dietary laws as indicated in the Bible and explained over the years by the Rabbis define which foods may and may not be eaten and how they should be prepared.
Kosher Supervision – An Overview
Specified Prohibited Foods
It is well know that Jewish people do not eat pork and bacon and other meat from a pig. In fact, the prohibitions run far deeper. For a land animal to begin to be considered kosher it must fall in the category of having cloven hooves and chewing the cud, such as cows, sheep and goats and not horses, camels, bears, dogs, rabbit or elephant. Fish must have fins and scales, such as salmon, snapper, tarakihi and most types of tuna. Sharks and shell-fish are not kosher. Chicken, duck and dove are among kosher classes of fowl, but owls, ostrich and other birds of prey are prohibited.
All meat and fowl must be slaughtered by a trained religious slaughter (Shochet) and then prepared according to Jewish dietary laws.
Prohibitions extend to all derivatives of non-Kosher animals, e.g. gelatine from animal bones, and cochineal – beetle extract. Some glycerines and chemical carriers of different cooking agents are derived from non-kosher sources.
Jewish religious laws prohibit certain mixtures of food, most notably dairy products and meat. This covers the range from blends such as cream of chicken soup to a combination such as a cheese and salami sandwich.
As a consequence all Kosher foods are identified as dairy (Milchig or Chalavi) or meat (Fleisig or Basari) or neutral (Pareve). This has direct implications on the production of dairy products with animal fat emulsifiers and vinegar from whey-derived alcohol etc.
Certain other innocuous foods are prohibited, some of them dating back to times when they were used for Pagan ritual. All wines, including grape juice and grape products must be produced and handled by suitably qualified religious personnel. Close controls are also taken in bread and cheese manufacture.
Jewish dietary laws work on the premise that flavours from non-kosher products are transferred into the vessels used for the production of non-kosher foodstuffs. This transfer can occur through cooking or prolonged moist contact. The concern is that this non-Kosher flavour will then be imparted back into kosher batches.
Much of rendering the equipment suitable for kosher production entails burning the taste out or nullifying it with cleaning detergents and washes at a higher temperature than normal production. The complexity of much industrial apparatus with a variety of stoppers, valves, plastic and metal washers etc, makes such kashering a highly technical field.
Because of this fear of non-kosher cross-contamination, when we consider a product for kosher certification we will also need to know about all other ingredients sharing the apparatus. This applies not just to self-evident foodstuffs, but also to anti-foams and detergents which might not appear on a product’s ingredient list.
The festival of Passover carries additional stringencies. During the festival no leavened grain or any leguminous products may be eaten. For eight days in the year, even the humble peanut is not Kosher!
Licensing & Certification
The throughput of some plants is exclusively Kosher and it is possible to issue a Kosher certificate that will cover all their products for a year. More often, specific products can be certified or defined batches. Depending on the nature of the product and the production schedules, it might be necessary for all or part to be supervised directly. In many cases, once the procedures have been laid down occasional inspections and the regular filing of production data suffice.
Taking it further
Prior to any certification, the Rabbi or one of the Kosher supervisors in the community will inspect all sites used for production and draft a report on what steps would be need to be taken in order to proceed.
If single runs or occasional batches are to be produced with Kosher certification (which might be the case if there are a number of non-Kosher ingredients in regular use on other runs in the premises), the production lines will need to be koshered and Kosher production will need to be undertaken in the presence of a shomer (supervisor).
Licensed Kosher Production
Where a plant or production line is readily made Kosher and will be producing an on-going volume of Kosher product, it is worth becoming a licensed Kosher producer. Licensed production carries with it the ability to use the registered Kosher Kiwi mark in conjunction with packaging and promotion of kosher product lines. This mark will be recognisable to Kosher consumers on the shelves or to importers for whom a Kosher mark (hechsher) or designation is required or desired.
The cost of the annual license will depend on the complexity of Koshering the plant and of production itself (from a kosher viewpoint, excluding expenses). Built into the license are the cost of the annual renewal inspection/site visit and the cost of at least two other annual inspections that might be required. The license will include all administration, technical advice and support that we are able to provide, liaison with food technologists, kosher advisers in other countries, etc., as might be necessary.
International Standards & Kosher Organisations
Occasionally, products are required to meet the particular kosher standards of international importers because they appeal to a certain niche within the kosher market. Particular concerns might be for example the use of certain dairy products, emulsifiers, etc. Occasionally, certain organisations abroad require a Shomer (supervisor) to be permanently on site during kosher production. Where compliance issues require substantial extra work on our part, an additional charge might be applicable.
As you will appreciate, Kashrut is a highly technical business and the above serves a very general guide covering the broadest outline, but also highlighting some of the minutiae and intricacies.
Please do not hesitate to contact us with any specific questions. It will be our pleasure to explain everything to you and work with you towards expanding your market share and attaining kosher certification.
- Kiwifruit Processing Company Ltd
- Kohu Road Ltd
- New Zealand Hops
- New Zealand King Salmon Co Ltd
- New Zealand Starch Litd
- New Zealand Sugar Company Ltd
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If you are visiting New Zealand, you may wish to download our Kosher Kiwi Visitors Guide (its only 6 pages).
If you have any questions / feedback, we’d love to hear from you via email.
Found only in New Zealand, the kiwi gets its name from the plaintive shrill cry of the male bird.
This spectacular flightless bird is endemic to New Zealand. The kiwi is a national symbol and New Zealanders are often referred to as “Kiwis.”
The kiwi is grayish brown in color and the size of a chicken. It is usually nocturnal but can be seen in daylight hours in native wildlife sanctuaries and in places where, apparently, there is no perceived danger from predators.
There are five species of the kiwi, all of which are endangered.
Note: Placing the Kosher Kiwi logo on any products, websites or similar constitutes
an unauthorised use of the Kosher Kiwi symbol which is a registered trademark.