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Fledgling chicken supplier abruptly switches kosher supervisors and then is sued by the original agency

December 14, 2018 from CJNews:
"Premier Kosher, the southern Ontario-based supplier of kosher poultry, has switched its kosher supervision from Agudas Shomrei Hadas to the Kashruth Council of Canada (COR)."
"Premier announced the step in a news release dated Dec. 5. The move came into effect on Dec. 10."

January 8, 2018 from the CJNews
Agudas Shomrei Hadas Jewish Community Services Inc. (Agudas) is now suing Premier Kosher $1.3 million for breach of contract because Premier did not provide the required 6 month notice of termination in the contract.
" In March 2016, Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO), an agency that oversees the production and marketing of chickens in Ontario, granted Premier the right to produce kosher chickens in the province. Premier’s bid was chosen over at least half a dozen others."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W791

Australian Wine company creates anti-counterfeit solution for China market

January 8, 2019 from the The Drinks Business:

An Australian company, YPB, created a "serialised QR code that promises to help Australian wineries keep track of their wines in their most profitable and problematic market, China."
"The system uses a serialised QR code with an embedded covert tracer called ProtectCode, which would enable wine producers to track wines through the entire supply chain using a handheld scanner."
"An end consumer can then use a smartphone to scan the code to tell if the wine is authentic or fake, according to the company."
"The exact scale of counterfeit wine in China, as anywhere else, is hard to gauge. However, global economic value of counterfeiting and piracy could reach US$2.3 trillion by 2022, according to a report released by Frontier Economics, an international economic research firm."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W790

Chicken of the Sea announces price-fixing settlement with 29 more retailers, criticizes holdouts

January 3, 2019 from the Seafood Source:

"Chicken of the Sea International, a division of Thai Union, on Wednesday, 9 January announced it had settled civil complaints by 29 U.S. retailers in relation to antitrust claims made as part of a larger price-fixing scandal in the canned tuna sector."
"The settlement follows upon an earlier agreement the company reached in April 2018 with Walmart, one of the largest retailers of canned tuna in the United States. Both rounds of settlements included cash payments and a promise from Chicken of the Sea to conduct promotional campaigns and other programming in partnership with the retailers."
"The latest settlement included agreements with Affiliated Foods, Inc.; Affiliated Foods Midwest Cooperative, Inc.; Alex Lee, Inc.; Associated Food Stores, Inc.; Associated Grocers of New England, Inc; Bashas' Inc.; Big Y Foods, Inc.; Brookshire Brothers, Inc.; Brookshire Grocery Company; Certco, Inc.; Dollar Tree Distribution, Inc.; Greenbrier International, Inc.; Family Dollar Stores, Inc.; Family Dollar Services, LLC; Fareway Stores, Inc.; The Golub Corporation; Giant Eagle, Inc.; Kmart Corporation; K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc.; Marc Glassman, Inc.; McLane Company, Inc; Meadowbrook Meat Company, Inc.; Merchants Distributors, LLC; Schnuck Markets, Inc.; SpartanNash Company; URM Stores, Inc.; Western Family Foods, Inc.; Woodman's Food Market, Inc.; 99 Cents Only Stores LLC; and all of their affiliates."
"The company does not face penalties from the U.S. Department of Justice, which prosecuted related antitrust cases against Bumble Bee Foods and StarKist as part of a conspiracy the three companies engaged in to artificially inflate the price of canned tuna, because Chicken of the Sea acted as the whistleblower in the case."
"The investigation has resulted in guilty please and subsequent millions of dollars in fines for Bumble Bee and StarKist and criminal prosecutions against several of the companies’ executives, including Bumble Bee CEO Christopher Lischewski, who was indicted in May 2018."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W789

Canadian Court- Kosher misrepresentation could cause 'spiritual trauma'

January 3, 2019 from the Toronto Sun:

"A Mississauga flour company has been ordered to pay $25,000 for misrepresenting a cake mix as kosher, after an Ontario court said the move could cause “spiritual trauma” to consumers who bought the product for religious reasons."
"A small-claims court found earlier this month that Adee Flour Mills breached its contract with the Kashruth Council of Canada, one of the country’s biggest kosher certification agencies, by misusing its logo on a devil’s food cake mix that was not, in fact, certified as kosher."
"Deputy Judge Lai-King Hum ordered the company to pay the council $20,000 for the breach and the harm it caused to the council’s reputation, as well as $5,000 in punitive damages for the potential harm to consumers."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W788

Startup Turns Cheese Waste Into Vodka

January 2, 2019 from the SpecialtyFoodNews and Forbes:

Wheyward Spirit, an "Oregon-based spirits company is making a vodka-like alcohol using cheese waste." "Wheyward Spirit uses liquid whey leftover from cheese production." The process "takes about two weeks including fermentation, distillation, and bottling."
"For every 10 pounds of milk a cheesemaker brings in, nine pounds will remain as whey."Billions of pounds of whey are produced in the U.S. each year, and researchers have been looking at a number of ways to deal with it." "Darchuk plans to bring the alcohol to market in 2019."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W787

Qatar preparing to welcome Jewish, Israeli fans for World Cup

December 24, 2018 from the JNetNews.com:

"Hassan al-Thawadi, Secretary-General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (the organization responsible for coordinating among public and private entities to ensure that infrastructure and development projects are delivered in readiness for the 2022 FIFA World Cup), met with US Rabbi Marc Schneier, considered the unofficial Jewish chaplain of the Persian Gulf states, and asked him to serve as an adviser with regards to matters relating to hosting Jewish sports fans who will attend the matches."
"Whether the Qataris will set up a synagogue for Jewish fans to pray inside Schneier said: 'No comment. They have left me to advise them on how to host the Jewish fans. We have begun discussing the details. Al-Thawadi told the New York Times in an interview with that Israelis will be very welcome during the Mondial games in Qatar.'"
"Rabbi Schneier is a well-known American rabbi who founded the Foundation for Jewish-Muslim Interfaith Understanding. For the last 15 years he has been a frequent guest in the palaces of Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Schneier was previously described by Newsweek Magazine as one of the 50 most influential rabbis in the US; he serves as the rabbi of the Hampton Synagogue in New York. "
"The rabbi was recently appointed adviser to the king of Bahrain to develop an interfaith institution in Bahrain and to help preserve Jewish life in Bahrain. Schneier said that some of the Gulf states are willing to develop Jewish life. For example, it was recently reported that there exists a community of 150 Jews in Dubai, and that the emirate authorities were planning to officially recognize the Jews. " ."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W786

Kosher slaughter ends in northern Belgium, threatening supplies to Europe

December 31, 2018 from the Times of Israel:

"As the year 2018 came to a close Monday, it brought with it an end to kosher slaughter in the northern Flanders region of Belgium, home to half of the country’s Jewish population and a major supplier of meat for European Jewish communities."
"In June 2017, the parliament in the Flemish region, one of the five sectors that make up the country, unanimously passed a resolution banning ritual slaughter without stunning."
"The decision followed a similar one approved in May 2017 by the Walloon Parliament in the south, Belgium’s largest region. Both measures take effect in 2019. "
"Locally produced kosher meat would no longer be available for the country’s two main Jewish population centers."
"Half of Belgium’s Jewish population of 40,000 people lives in the Flemish region. The remaining 20,000 live in the Brussels region. Walloon is home to just a few hundred Jews."
"Kosher slaughterhouses in Antwerp, the capital of the Flemish region, provide meat to many Jewish communities in Europe."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W785

Climate Disrupts Olive Oil Supply

December 29, 2018 from the Specialty Food News:

"A particularly bad year for olive harvests in some parts of the world is disrupting the olive oil supply chain and will likely have an impact on retailers’ pricing and assortments in the year ahead, according to suppliers."
"This year Italy reportedly suffered a sharp decline in olive production, with the harvest down an estimated 38 percent or more compared with last year, according to reports in the Olive Oil Times. Some other major olive-growing regions, including parts of Greece, also had a down year due to a combination of fly infestations and climate fluctuations."
"The burgeoning California olive industry, meanwhile, also had an extremely weak harvest after warm weather in February was followed by a cold snap. Some farms had no olives at all, according to reports. That has led to a new packaging claim from olive oil producer California Olive Ranch that its oils are “Crafted in California,” even though the olives have been grown in other countries. California Olive Ranch has partnerships with producers in Argentina, Chile, Peru, and Portugal, for example, that supply certified extra virgin olive oils, the company says on its website."
"The global olive harvest down an estimated 5.5 percent."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W784

Missouri Farmer Charged in $140M Organic Grain Fraud Scheme

December 20, 2018 from Manufacturing.net:

A Missouri farmer and businessman, Randy Constant of Chillicothe, Missouri, was charged with ripping off consumers nationwide by falsely marketing more than $140 million worth of corn, soybeans and wheat as certified organic grains. He was "was charged with one count of wire fraud. He is expected to plead guilty during a hearing that is scheduled at the federal courthouse in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Thursday."
"The charging document calls on Constant to forfeit $128 million to the government along with his interest in 70 pieces of farm machinery and equipment."
"Constant was the owner of Organic Land Management, which held certifications through the U.S. Department of Agriculture to grow organic corn and soybeans on farms in Missouri and Nebraska. He was also the owner of Jericho Solutions, which operated in Ossian, Iowa, and sold and marketed grain labeled as organic to customers nationwide."
"Constant told customers his grain was certified organic because some of it had been grown on his farms in Missouri and Nebraska. But the charging document alleges that at least 90 percent of the grain being sold was non-organic grain that he either grew himself elsewhere or bought from other farmers."
"Constant was aware that farmers he purchased from used unapproved substances, including pesticides and nitrogen, to grow their crops."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W783

British kashrus information on Warburtons Danish White Loaf

December 18, 2018 from London Beth Din Twitter FeedC:

The Warburtons Danish White Loaf is now KLBD kosher Certified Parev, no logo. Pas Palter. For the full list of kosher certified Warburtons products see isitkosher.uk/#warburtons. This is only for product purchased in the UK.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W782
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