BUENOS AIRES (JTA) — In the midst of a kosher meat price war in Argentina, one of the world’s largest suppliers of kosher meat, a new batch of Israeli rabbis arrived to increase output in the midst of a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
The 87 rabbis who arrived last week will help the country double its exports of kosher meat in 2021, according to Argentina’s government. About 24,000 tons were exported last year.
A similar group of nearly 100 rabbis came from Israel in June.
Last month, Jewish businessman Roberto Goldfarb, who owns the Diarco market chain, began selling kosher meat locally for far cheaper than traditional prices, comparing the country’s kosher certification industry to a “mafia.” He was supported in a statement by the The Latin American Rabbinical Seminary, a branch of the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly.
But the country’s Orthodox chief rabbis blasted the statement, calling the Conservative groups “self-designated rabbinical institutions” and saying they do not set prices, only provide certification services.
The cheaper kosher meat sold at Diarco supermarkets — in some cases less than half the traditional price — isn’t supervised by conservative rabbis, but by an Orthodox rabbi affiliated with the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic movement, Rabbi Yosef Itzjak Feigelstok.