New York - Empire Kosher Poultry Set to Enter Kosher Beef Market With Hechsher Of KAJ
New York - Empire Kosher Poultry, founded in 1938 by Joseph Katz, is set to enter the kosher meat market, sources told KosherToday. The beef will not be sold under the Empire brand, due to trademark restrictions, but will be certified by the Star-K Kosher Certification and Khal Adas Jeshurun. Sources say that Neil Rosenbaum, the company CEO, has worked out a deal with the AD Rosenblatt brand to use the small slaughterhouse in Wichita, Kansas that Rosenblatt uses.
AD Rosenblatt was launched two years ago by Rabbi Yaakov Rosenblatt, a Brooklyn transplant, who currently resides in Dallas, Texas. Kosher industry sources say that at this point, the Empire move is no more than a “foray,” but that Empire, once the dominant kosher poultry producer in the U.S., was looking to take advantage of changes in the marketplace, including the ongoing problems at Agriprocessors in Postville, Iowa. One source said, “Empire watched helplessly as Agriprocessors and Alle Processing ate away at their market share in poultry and it was only a matter of time that Empire would venture into their territory.”
For the Star-K, headed by Rabbi Moshe Heinemann, the new brand is the second kosher meat to be certified by the agency. The Star-K certifies the J.W. Treuth company in Baltimore. For KAJ, which already certifies Empire Poultry along with the Orthodox Union (OU), the new brand provides them with a source of beef, which they lost when they ended their relationship with Agriprocessors in April. Despite the new Rosenblatt and Empire products, kosher sources are still concerned over a shortage of kosher beef in many parts of the country due to the cutbacks in production at Agriprocessors.
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