MASHER and I [Mark Faust] gave the two most prominent "Kosher Tax" centers in NYC a call and got some pricing info from them. I did record the second call to the Orthodox Union which is the one that is most common, the U inside of a circle. here is what I found out:
-- It's a $500 application fee just to apply
-- It costs $550 per day + expenses to have the initial visit by the rabbi just to check out your facility. Expenses are 58 cents per mile of travel.
-- Then they said it averages around $4500 per year to have the privilege of putting there symbol on your product. (keep in mind that this is an ABOUT figure not including the Jewish nickle and dime costs that they will undoubtedly hit you with)
The OK kosher certification center says that you will get "surprise" visits by a rabbi to make sure you are towing the line.
-- Their costs are about the same except they say it averages $6000 per year to have their K inside of the circle stamped on your products.
...The kicker of the whole thing is that I said I am a devout Christian man who wants the best for Israel and wondered if they were non profit...They said they were.....and I asked if any of that kosher money is sent to Israel to help the Jews fight their evil oppressors and she (she being a Jew from South Africa no less) assured me that it was.
The Anti-Defamation League tries to downplay the costs as being a mere drop in the bucket while castigating those who question or object to it as "anti-Semitic". But Honest Media Today further addresses this issue. According to the ADL's article, General Food's Birds Eye unit paid only "6.5 millionths (.0000065) of a cent per item." But is the paltry sum of .0000065 cents per item true? This would seem like a deliberately deceptive move on the ADL's part (or that of one of its members who was employed at Birds Eye). Does anyone really believe that a rabbi would fly to Birds Eye foods if he only received 6.5 cents for each $1 million of business Birds Eye did?
If Birds Eye did $100 million in business, for example, that would be a paltry $6.50 in fees by the certification agency. This wouldn't even pay for the time involved, let alone travel and paperwork. This doesn't necessarily mean the ADL is lying; if you notice, it says ".0000065 of a cent per item." Birds Eye sells corn, peas, pieces of broccoli, et cetera. In effect, the ADL's "informer" probably meant that every single piece of corn, every single pea, and every single bean--that is, every "item"--incur the cost of .0000065 cents. Added up, this then makes sense. Here's a YouTube video which provides an overview:
Radio Islam also offers some interesting additional information. Did you know that some non-food items are also subject to the kosher tax? These include Reynolds Aluminum Foil (with the "U" imprint), Glad Sandwich Bags, Ivory Liquid Detergent, Glass Plus, and Comet Cleanser.
In addition, there may be multiple kosher taxes on one product. One food firm had a product with 21 ingredients from 12 other companies. Each of them were also required to pay the kosher tax before the original company could receive kosher certification! Also, a giant company with scores of products generally doesn't pay just one simple fee for all its food products. It must pay a separate kosher tax for each product and each must be inspected by the Rabbi on different visits. This can run the total tax up into the millions of dollars.
Itz a living. After all, a rabbi has to eat.