Magen Tzedek Certification Offers Ethical Assurance
After 3 years of development with SAI & SAAS, the Magen Tzedek Certification program is 'open for business'
In 2008, a commission was formed by prominent leaders of Conservative Judaism to develop a set of ethical standards to certify kosher food manufacturers in the US. After three years, the Magen Tzedek Certification program is officially "open for business."
Since the beginning, SAI and SAAS partnered with the Magen Tzedek Commission to leverage expertise in building socially responsible audit programs. SAAS and SAI worked with the commission to develop policies and procedures needed for sustainable implementation of the Magen Tzedek standards. The team also worked to design and implement an effective system for verifying that practices are just and sustainable.
The cornerstone of the program is the Magen Tzedek Standard, a proprietary set of requirements that meet or exceed industry best practices for treatment of workers, animals, and the Earth; delineating the criteria a food manufacturer must meet to achieve certification. This 'Shield of Justice' certification seal is available only for products that already carry a traditional Hekhsher seal from an authorized kosher certification agency. It is not a replacement, but rather a complementary enhancement to a brand's reputation.
For kosher food manufacturers and processors interested in becoming certified, the program assures that their products are manufactured consistent with the Jewish tradition of justice and ethics. The complete Magen Tzedek Standard, initially posted on the Magen Tzedek website in 2009 for public comment, has been finalized and outlines the criteria for earning certification to the Magen Tzedek seal:
Magen Tzedek Standard -The complete and final standard governing compliance with the Magen Tzedek Seal of Justice.
Magen Tzedek Certification Application
The U.S. kosher food industry is important in the overall food industry. It is estimated that over 40% of packaged foods in America have a kosher mark. The Magen Tzedek certification seal can be placed on a wide range of grocery products including meat/poultry, dairy, dry grocery, canned/bottled goods, refrigerated/frozen products and baked goods.