The foreign ministries of Argentina and Israel are working around the clock with businessmen from the main kosher meat processing plants to obtain authorization to enter this country for a new group of between 120 and 140 Israeli rabbis and slaughterers who will engage in the slaughter of this product.
By virtue of the migratory and sanitary restrictions that still prevail in Argentina, the authorization of these entry procedures is crucial; firstly for economic reasons, and secondly because of the political ties that the Alberto Fernández administration forged with Israel.
Israel is the main destination for Argentine exports of this meat that it is processed under the rite of the Jewish religion, and it’s the second meat market for Argentina after China. Furthermore: according to the data sent by the Argentine embassy in Israel to the Foreign Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jorge Neme, the Government expects to increase the 24,000 tons already planned to 49,000 for March 2021. Between October 2020 and March 2021, A total of 30,000 tons were exported and a value close to US $ 220 million. The operation involves cold storage plants in several provinces.
Last July, efforts by Ambassador Sergio Urribarri in Tel Aviv and Foreign Minister Felipe Solá here, managed to get Migrations and the Ministry of Health to approve the entry of an El Al Israel Airlines plane. In this 98 rabbis and assistants arrived to certify the kosher meat slaughter process in some seven national meat processing plants.
Now, between the end of October and the beginning of November, another 120 to 140 more would arrive, whose details were being adjusted last week in a meeting between Mario Ravettino, president of the ABC Exporters Consortium – which groups together the country’s export plants – the businessmen and Mario Montoto, president of the Argentine-Israeli Chamber of Commerce, who has just been reelected for three more years.
The meeting also made progress to start holding face-to-face fairs and promotional campaigns, activities that the pandemic of coronavirus paralyzed. Industry sources indicated that the procedures are already advanced with the firm Fime Pak, so that the shojtim, as kosher slaughterers are called in Hebrew, work in Argentina from October to March 2021.
It is a complex movement: travel with health insurance and COVID-19 tests will be carried out before boarding the plane that will take them to Argentina, in addition to complying with the regulations in force in our country upon arrival.
At the time, Ravettino had told this newspaper that in Argentina there are only about 40 shojtim and they are committed to certifying the process of the entire kosher market and not just the bovine. Therefore, it is insufficient to perform the task. So the fridges turn to Israeli rabbis they are number one in the kosher market. At the same time, Argentine beef also has, due to its quality, immense arrival in the Israeli market.
It was the international restrictions imposed by the pandemic that put kosher rabbis and slaughterers in the news. Every year they came and went on commercial flights, but in July they had to be authorized a special flight because the task could not be stopped.
The Hebrew word “kosher” means “suitable”: within the precepts of the Jewish religion for this, food goes through a special process that only rabbis certified by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.
Not all animals are edible: only farmed and split-hoof ruminants, i.e. bovines, goats and sheep, but never swine. It is a maxim that the animal must have died healthy, without disease or other cause, and in the sacrifice, they claim that he must not have suffered. To do this, they are precisely killed with a special knife. “If an animal has deformities in the heart or lungs, it is ruled out,” explains Jacobo Enzani, director of the Hender Sur kosher meat plant in Buenos Aires. And he adds that the rabbi, in addition to killing the animal, inspects it later.