Golden Circle no longer guaranteed kosher claim not ratified

November 5, 2015 by J-Wire
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Kosher Australia says Australia’s most popular range of fruit juices and canned fruits will disappear from Kosher food shelves…ut the company says no decision has been made to stop Kosher certification.

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The Golden Circle brand is now controlled by Kraft Heinz who Kosher Australia maintain can no longer guarantee that their products will be kosher. But a petition has been launched to keep the brand’s juices and canned fruits kosher.

Kosher Australia issued the following statement: “Despite our best efforts, Kraft Heinz, the owners of the Golden Circle brand, have unfortunately decided to discontinue its Kosher certification of the Golden Circle range of ​long-life fruit juices (including the Popper range and Golden Circle Junior Drinks), fruit cordials and canned fruits.

The company has ​advised that they will no longer allow us to monitor the ingredients or manufacturing processes, and further the company is not willing to commit to informing Kosher Australia of any changes in the ingredients and processes. Both these criteria are fundamental requirements in order to maintain a reliable kosher certification.

The Golden Circle products with a “best before date’ printed on the packaging which is prior to 1 July 2016 remain kosher certified under the supervision of Kosher Australia​. Products with a best before date after 1 July 2016 are no longer Kosher certified by Kosher Australia and are therefore not recommended​.
We are working together with our colleagues at the Kashrut Authority in Sydney to address this situation and we continue to request ​Kraft Heinz to reconsider its decision to discontinue the certification of its fruit juices, fruit cordials and canned fruits, and we urge consumers to make their voices heard.​”
But a spokesperson for Kraft Heinz told J-Wire: “Golden Circle has not made a decision to stop Kosher Certification. Kraft Heinz greatly appreciates the confidence the Jewish community has shown in Golden Circle over many years.” The company said that it is working with the Kashrut Authority .
President of the Kashrut Authority Baron Revelman told J-Wire: “Golden Circle has become a work in progress item on our agenda and we are addressing the issue. Their production lines now cover a plethora of items and with such a large number of diverse ingredients, it is currently no longer possible to guarantee that any one item is Kosher.  We are working together to resolve this. In the meantime, there are other fruits juices on the market which are kosher,”
Kosher Australia’s Yankel Wajsbort told J-Wire: “There are about 20,000 Jews who keep Kosher in Australia and almost every one of those families would be a Golden Circle customer.  They tell us the kosher market is small, but our research shows that a Jewish family spends 40% more on food than the average. We are concerned for the children whose lunch boxes nearly all contained Golden Circle products.”
With his tongue firmly in his cheek Wajsbort added: “Maybe they will be forced to drink only water…one way to lose weight.”
Kosher Australia suggested that consumers contact the company advocating for reinstatement of certification.
President of the Kashrut Authority Baron Revelman told J-Wire: “Golden Circle has become a work in progress item on our agenda and we are addressing the issue. Their production lines now cover a plethora of items and with such a large number of diverse ingredients, it is currently no longer possible to guarantee that any one item is Kosher. There are other fruits juices on the market which are kosher,”
One Perth consumer has gone a step further and set up a petition allowing for collective representation from fans of the Golden Circle brand. Andrew Blitz has created a petition to present to the company to ask it to consider changing its mind.
Petition creator Andrew Blitz said “A number of people posted comments on Facebook, wondering what they were going to do for school lunches, lamenting that their Shabbat meals and shule kiddish would not be the same without Golden Circle.  This is an iconic Australian brand that has been greatly appreciated by kosher consumers for many years, and we want to do all we can to persuade the company to reverse their decision”.

The petition has attracted almost 400 signatures in its first two days, and will remain open until the end of November.  Mr Blitz is hoping that at least 2,000 signatures will be collected, providing sufficient evidence to Kraft Heinz, the owners of Golden Circle, that significant business will be lost through discontinuation of kosher status.“If the petition reaches its target and each signatory spends an average of $800 a year ($15 per week) on Golden Circle, this already represents millions of dollars of sales. And if the signatories are only the small portion of the kosher market that bother to take the time to sign this petition, then it could easily be tens of millions worth of sales that are at stake.  Faced with this evidence the company may then want to re-evaluate their cost-benefit analysis and revisit whether to eliminate the cost of kosher certification.”

Mr Blitz said.”To date signatures have been collected by kosher consumers across Australia and New Zealand, including cities such as Tasmania and Bendigo.  If nothing else, the petition has already demonstrated how geographically dispersed kosher consumers are.   By the end of this exercise in grass roots advocacy we may also be able to prove that the collective voice of the market of kosher consumers on a national level is large enough and effective enough to prompt change.”

J-Wire readers are encouraged to sign the petition which can be accessed at http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/keep-golden-circle-kosher.html

 

Comments

One Response to “Golden Circle no longer guaranteed kosher claim not ratified”
  1. Jan Poddebsky says:

    Perhaps Golden Circle could be asked if they are busy paying the Halal tax?
    Jan

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