The Kof-K and ConAgra Foods have partnered to make fresh yoshon flour available and readily accessible.
“I think the arrangement between the Kof-K and ConAgra is a big step forward,” says Rabbi Yoseph Herman, the recognized expert on yoshon in America. “It is very encouraging that the Kof-K is involved, and I am hopeful that the bakeries in New York will now be provided with a steady supply of yoshon.”
Until now, yoshon flour was mostly available by frozen stock and for bulk purchases only. The flour mills that did provide yoshon flour did so at a huge financial risk, because there was no guarantee that all the flour would be used and there was still a big problem of insect infestation, which would wipe out entire stock piles, despite being in cold storage.
Kof-K and ConAgra have received numerous inquiries for yoshon flour, fresh and at a reasonable price. With demand being so high, this collaboration was a natural partnership. Rabbi Ari Senter, Rabbi Michoel Brukman and the rabbinic board of the Kof-K worked for many months designing the perfect environment that would satisfy all kashrus concerns while maintaining the quality of the flour.
“With the exponential growth of the yeshiva community,” explains Rabbi Ari Senter, “there is now a great demand for a reliable source of yoshon. We aim to meet this demand and to ensure the highest standards of kashrus every step of the way.”
For the first time ever, an entire plant in Denver and a ConAgra wheat storage house is devoted exclusively to yoshon. There is a mashgiach temidi on location for packing and sealing the rail cars used for transport, as well as on location at ConAgra’s Bronx Terminal distribution center. Trucks are cleaned in preparation for the yoshon flour and a seal is placed on each truck as it sets out to the purchasing bakeries. And since the flour will be completely fresh, not in frozen storage, the tola’im issue and quality control issues are all but eliminated.
“There is certainly a direct need for this product,” says Peter Bisaccia of ConAgra Foods. “Over the last year, we have been working to finalize the set-up of our plant solely dedicated to yoshon flour. The greatest challenge is that we were working to ensure not only the quality of the flour, but also to maintain the standards demanded by kosher law. To that end, it has been a wonderful experience working with the Kof-K. They are at the forefront of bringing a much desired product to communities nationwide.”