November 23, 2017
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Comments for: Maine organic dairy sued over use of kosher trademark

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  • Anonymous

    This is not just a trademark or financial issue.  For people who keep strictly kosher, the designation is very important because it means that the food has come from a place that has been closely inspected and approved by the proper authorities as conforming to the Jewish dietary laws. Orthodox observant Jews rely on this as part of their religious practice.  As an example, it could be like sneaking a meat product into a casserole and serving it to an observant Catholic on a Friday during Lent.  MooMilk clearly did not understand this from the beginning, and they apparently continued to ignore the concerns even after they were brought to their attention.  Reducing this “stupid mistake”  just to a financial, trademark, or inventory issue is insulting to the Orthodox Union and to observant Jews.

    • Anonymous

      As I read the story, MooMilk had been inspected and cleared for using the trademark.  Then they lacked the (exorbitant) fee to place the trademark on their packaging.  So this is not  like serving meat to Catholics on Friday.  It is an attempt by the Orthodox Union to recover lost earnings.  Fair enough I guess but lets call it what it is.  An effort to collect unpaid dues previously contracted.

      • poormaniac

        I agree , the story points out that they have been and passed inspection and needed to pay for the use of the trademark.

        • Kosher inspections are an ongoing process. They’re not a one–shot deal. See the information I posted above.

      • Carey Haskell

        I think the inspections for kosher certification are supposed to be an ongoing process, not a “check once and you’re approved forever” type of thing.

        If I’m wrong and somebody knows for sure feel free to correct me.

        •  You are correct.

          —————

          http://www.organicprocessing.com/opmayjune09/opmj09processing.htm

          …as a product-based certification, kosher doesn’t rely as much on auditing the system as it does on hands-on inspections. The kosher level of your facility impacts the frequency of the inspections. A 100 percent kosher facility, with only approved raw materials can expect anywhere from yearly to even monthly inspections.

          The facility that contains both kosher approved and non-kosher raw materials may have more frequent inspections, and may sometimes be required to have an individual inspection for each kosher production.

          • Anonymous

            If your not kosher then it has no bearing on you. Me either as I am not a kosher jew by any stretch.

            That said to be kosher the food must be inspected/ slaughtered by a rabbi and he has to sign off on it. One can call/ label there food kosher if this is done.  The mark in question is a “group” that provides this service. 

            A kosher jew must never let meat and dairy touch this is why kosher kitchens have two of everything including fridges.

          • Now I’m more confused.
            From your link, quote:  “Choosing Certifiers  There are hundreds of reputable certifiers worldwide…..”

            I can’t imagine that all these hundreds of kosher certifiers are from identical sects with similar rules and fees.  Which begs the question…. which certifier is the REAL kosher certifier.  The organic label had this problem 20 years ago when there were also 100’s of organic certifying organizations.  

            Eventually, the USDA (for better or worse) stepped in and created 1 national standard.  Maybe kosher could benefit from a similar standardization.  

            What is unsaid in the story is that a certifying organization has the ability to extort high fees from a producer once their logo is on a carton.  The print and plate costs for packaging moulds can cost $1,000’s of dollars and to change a production plate/mould could be cost prohibitive for a small producer.  The producer is then stuck paying an unanticipated increase in fees.

            Typical in journalism… we don’t know the WHOLE story.

    •  Agreed. Thank you.

  • Anonymous

    That was not a good move by MooMilk to continue using the symbol after they were asked not to by the rightful owners. This puts a bad mark on MooMilk that they really didn’t need. I was thinking of trying the product myself but don’t think I’ll bother now because of the way they have handled this situation. If I can’t trust their business dealings I won’t trust their milk. Got Oakhurst? I do!

  • Anonymous

    Why???? In 2010 they claimed to only have weeks of the cartons but over a year later are still using the trademark. Companies trademark/copyright to protect what is theirs from theft or unauthorized use by others. MooMilk is essentially stealing this logo. In addtion, as a consumer and potential customer, MooMilk’s continued use of this trademark illegally is a huge turn off for me. What other shortcuts might they be taking? I hope the union prevails. MooMilk would have been better off to admit to their financial hardship upfront, see if anything could be negotiated and if NOT, do not use the trademark on packaging.  It is deceitful and dishonest and why would they want to use the designation if they don’t respect or understand it’s meaning/importance ? Ick. I am not impressed by this company in the least.

  • Anonymous

    It is no great secret that Kosher in this country has more to do with
    business and pumping money, and has very little to do with observing the
    religious law. The whole kosher enterprise has turned into a giant
    racket, with “rabbis” of all denominations competing for turf and income
    in this lucrative market.  To put it simply, this is a money gouging
    operation, where the prices are unjustifiably sky-high, and the quality
    of the product is absolutely atrocious.

    • Anonymous

      your statement shows a clear prejudice. Is it any great secret that the use of the word “certified organic” and “Non GMO” contains meaning for consumers who would be furious to learn that a company used this symbol for any reason without certification? Or should we say that those who care are just tools of the giant health food industry. 

    •  Maybe. On the other hand, obtaining kosher certification is completely voluntary on the part of the companies using the symbols. If they don’t want the trademark, they’re free to stop using it, and stop paying for the inspections.

      That is not what happened with MOO.

  • Anonymous

    They should have put small cow stickers  on the cartons to cover the mark. 

    • Agreed. However, MOO knows that if they do, they will lose sales to observant Jewish people.

  • There is a distinction between meeting the kosher standard and paying to use a symbol that signifies that your product meets the kosher standard.  MOO could have simply put the words “produced and packaged in accordance with kosher standards” on the side of the cartons instead of the logo.  This is a dispute over the amount of money due.  MOO did (after the fact) discover that the use of label required that a fee be paid.  The article does state that MOO has paid some money in good faith.

    I would be interested to know the fee structure.  If Nabisco pays the same to use the logo on a million boxes of crackers that a small bakery pays to use the label on 500 boxes then something is wrong.  A negotiated settlement based on actual potential revenue would be the fair resolution.

    •  Last year, if MOO had kept to their promises, I would agree with you. Now? Not so much. I think the OU has been more than patient, and willing to negotiate. Then they found out MOO had continued using the symbols, and hadn’t kept their promises.

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