Competition at last

May 9, 2013

The opening of a new kosher butcher in Golders Green might seem of parochial interest only. But it is far more than that. It offers the possibility of a revolution in kosher shopping. For too long, the meat trade has been able to use the cost of kosher supervision as an excuse for ripping off shoppers. Plainly, kosher meat is going to be more expensive than treif.

But the absence of real competition has feather-bedded kosher shops. The duopoly of licensing in London by the London Board of Shechita and Kedassia has meant a form of de facto - even if unintentional - collusion against the consumer. Now that a new butcher has opened, with meat licensed by the Manchester Beth Din, there is at last a dose of competition. All sorts of claims about the kosher status of this new shop are being bandied about. They are entirely irrelevant, because it is up to consumers, not competitors, to decide. If consumers are unhappy with licensing arrangements then a new shop will go bust.

If they are satisfied, and like what is on offer, it will prosper. That is the point of choice and competition. It might be unpopular with the existing providers but it should be anything but that for consumers.

Last updated: 4:45pm, May 9 2013