The KLBD held their annual conference last week for Rabbinic Inspectors, who supervise food products, raw materials and ingredients in factories worldwide. The conference was attended by Dayonim, Rabbonim, Mashgichim and the Certification Unit office team. Participants arrived from near and far, including Manchester and Gateshead, Belgium and Eretz Yisroel.
The KLBD currently certifies over 1,200 factories in 70 countries worldwide – and the conference is a rare opportunity for Dayonim, Rabbonim and Mashgichim to share experiences and impart expertise, to further enhance Kosher in the growing manufacturing sphere, whilst maintaining its standard-setting seal of Kashrus.
Another benefit of such a gathering is the Chizuk and encouragement a Mashgiach acquires with the realisation that he is part of a substantial organisation and that his responsibilities can be shared with experienced Dayonim and Rabbonim. The knowledge that KLBD is backing him up adds an important layer of protection to the level of integrity KLBD Mashgichim are world-famous for.
The opening address was given by the Rosh Beis Din, Dayan Menachem Gelley, who stressed that more than all the Kashrus knowledge needed to be an excellent Mashgiach, Yiras Shomayim is key.
The first session of the day, was an open forum – led by Rabbi Jeremy Conway, Director of KLBD, and Rabbi Akiva Osher Padwa, Director of Certification, where the Mashgichim were given an opportunity to address their concerns and send Shailos to the panel.
Later in the morning, Emeritus Rosh Beis Din, Dayan Chanoch Ehrentreu gave an in depth Shiur on the subject of steam and condensate return, a subject highly relevant to many factories worldwide. Rabbi Conway gave a PowerPoint introduction to the Shiur, highlighting and demonstrating the different practical applications. The wide-ranging Shiur, interposed and followed by lively Talmudic discussion, generated an uplifting atmosphere and a Rischa DeOraysa.
Over lunch, KLBD was honoured to receive Divrei Brochoh and Chizuk from The Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis who stressed the great responsibility that rests upon the shoulders of each Mashgiach and how even a private conversation with a factory worker can have epic ramifications. Rabbi Mirvis brought numerous examples to this concept from the Chumash, how a private and personal interaction is recorded in the Torah because it changed the course of history.
The next session was a lecture by Dr. Moshe Rosenfeld, Chief Chemist and Research Consultant at KLBD, who stressed the importance of having good scientific knowledge and technical grounding in all areas of Hashgocho. Dr Rosenfeld alerted the gathering to recent trends in the oil and glycerine markets towards using recycled cooking oils, which is a great Kashrus concern, and how one must be vigilant about adulteration of all sorts of raw materials.
Presentations on Marketing, Sales and Digital Presence was made by Mr Russell Brown, Mr Paul Barnes and Rabbi Elie Schoemann, who gave a snapshot overview of the Kosher market trends, sales efforts and recently renovated KLBD websites and Kashrus Systems.
A fascinating presentation on Kashrus implications in the production of cheese and butter was given by Rabbi Akiva Osher Padwa, KLBD Certification Director, who is an acknowledged expert in the dairy industry. Rabbi Padwa gave an in-depth exposition on the use of cheese rennets and cultures and other fermentation processes. He stressed how technology has really changed the face of food manufacture and how one must be extremely diligent nowadays regarding processes and ingredients that were never of concern in the past.
The conference was closed by Rabbi Conway who emphasised the importance of understanding that all our hard work Letzorech Haklal is Avodas HaKodesh.
The conference once again proved a great success and served as a powerful tool to reinforce the high standards of Hashgocho at the KLBD. Thanks were extended to Kinloss Synagogue for their generous help in hosting the event.