Surprise cuts in fees paid by butchers of around 10 per cent per kilo on lamb and beef have been announced by the London Board for Shechita.
The cuts, which came into effect on Tuesday, have been introduced to help butchers facing spiralling wholesale prices, in order to limit what they then charge consumers. They have been welcomed by Jacky Lipowicz, chairman of the Licensed Kosher Meat Traders’ Association, the butchers’ “union”.
“Spring lamb prices in the general meat trade have risen by as much as 60 per cent in the past month and for beef about 30 per cent, so the LBS’s decision will enable butchers to keep their prices at current levels and not raise them any further,” said Mr Lipowicz.
“The general increases in prices have hit butchers, along with everyone else, and I know a number have been struggling. We have already seen the closure of Ilford Kosher Meats a few weeks ago. Even though more people are buying kosher meat and poultry, the kosher industry is going through a bad patch, with profit margins being continually eroded.”
London Board of Shechita executive director David Rose said: “The reductions reflect growing production volumes and stronger cost controls by the LBS.
“Given increasing food-price inflation, it is hoped these reductions will benefit all LBS licensees and will flow through to the London consumer.”
Menachem Haziza, owner of Menachem’s in Golders Green, said: “This is very good news. There have been two price increases in the past few weeks but my prices have stayed the same as before. This will enable me to cut the price of a couple of lamb products.”