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Nandos’ Brozin heads Chief Rabbi's taskforce

In 14 years between 2001 & 2013: Chickens slaughtered reduced by 43 per cent from 879,393 to 506,210 (GRAPH LEFT); Beef slaughtered increased by 42 per cent from 8,557 to 12,138 & Lamb increased by 60 per cent from 10,072 to 16,102. SEE ALL THE GRAPHS. And find out why the kosher chicken crossed the road...
by ANT KATZ | Feb 05, 2014

The Office of the Chief Rabbi has established a special task force to find a solution to the high price of kosher chickens in Johannesburg.

A media release states that the Chief Rabbi has appointed Robert Brozin, founder of Nandos chain, to head the task force. His mandate is “to use his extensive network and knowledge of the industry to find an innovative way to bring down the chicken price for the kosher consumer.

“This is an imperative,” said the Chief Rabbi. “Financial pressures on people today are immense and we need to find ways of alleviating the economic burden of our community.”

Meanwhile, the national sales of treif poultry products increased by over 21 per cent in 2013 and the average price for across the country actually came down slightly, by about 20c per kg to a national average of R16,57 per kg on average nationwide. This figure includes all poultry brands and all retail outlets.

Chickens - chicken graphChicken consumption over the 2001 to 1013 period has almost halved

Brozin says: “Everyone should be able to afford to keep kosher and I hope to be able to make a difference.”

The declining sales of kosher chicken vs. beef and lamb tell the story – between 2001 and 2013:

Chickens slaughtered reduced by 43 per cent from 879,393 to 506,210

Beef slaughtered increased by 42 per cent from 8,557 to 12,138 Lamb increased by 60 per cent from 10,072 to 16,102. Interestingly, though, 24,713 lambs were slaughtered in 2008 which took it up to a 150-odd per cent increase but this figure has since dropped substantially. SEE GRAPHS. 

Chickens - beef graph
Both beef and lamb consumption have increased over the same period

Chief Rabbi Goldstein acknowledged the challenges ahead: “We cannot guarantee a successful outcome because there are complex market forces at play, but we must give our full efforts and energy to finding the best possible solutions.

“The halacha champions the alleviation of a financial burden as an essential Torah value. I am delighted that Mr Brozin agreed to accept this appointment to head the task force. He brings with him a formidable track record of business acumen, industry knowledge and innovation as well as an exemplary commitment to the South African Jewish community. He is the perfect man for the job.”


An in-depth survey by some of the most professional external experts on the price of kosher chicken was published by the UOS in 2010.

Send, print & read PDFs from 2010 Commission





Why the chicken crossed the road and other Rabinical stories

(By ANT KATZ - Originally published on MyShtetl in 2010)

There had been three pre-release rumours doing the rounds about the Kingston report before its final release, said Darren Sevitz, executive director of the UOS to the gathered Rabonim and lay Shul executives last Wednesday night.

 “The first,” said Daren with a wry smile, “was that I [he himself] had received the original report and didn’t like it.” Darren told the Rabonim that the first he had heard of his rumoured tampering with the report was when the Rosh Beth Din, Dayan Kurtstag summoned Darren into his office. He was with ‘Mr Kosher Chicken,’ Ami Bolnick, who had heard the rumour and come in to question it. It clearly all ended pleasantly as Dayan Kurtstag had a good laugh as Darren told the story.

The second rumour, Darren told the Rabonim, was that that very meeting had been called to ask the Rabonim and Shul execs to cover up to their congregations that the UOS had been badly portrayed in the Kingston Report. As Darren’s presentation showed, nothing could have been further from the truth.

“And the third rumour doing the rounds,” said Darren with just enough silence to make it sound all the more mysterious, “is that the retail butchers had bribed the two experts” to make themselves look better in the report!

Of course the independence and integrity of the Report’s senior investigator and author, Michael Kingston, is without doubt.


The funniest came from a Rabbi

But even funnier than Darren’s account of the rumour mill, was the comment of one of the Rabonim who was overheard poking another seated beside him in the ribs and asking:

“Why did the chicken cross the road?”

The older Rabbi seated alongside shrugged, opened his hands, and replied with a long and rhetorical:


“To escape the Kingston Commission, of course!” came the punchline.


  1. 3 Mike 06 Feb
    All well and good. Good luck and let's hope they can bring prices down. But this is NOT the biggest problem our community is facing.
    We can all budget and eat more or less chicken if desired. What we can't do, is play with our SCHOOL FEES.
    Where is the commission of enquiry into SCHOOL FEES?
    How are families with three or four children supposed to live when SCHOOL FEES are what they are?
    And yet nobody seems to have the courage to look into this.
    Why don't the SCHOOLS open their book?
    There is no call for this investigation becuase the rabbis are protecting their fellow rabbis who make big money out of these schools, while most other rabbis don't pay at all.
    When the Chief Rabbi, bless him, uses his resources to tackle the SCOOL FEE crisis - then we will all breath easily.
  2. 2 Rhona Glass 09 Feb
    The Chief Rabbi has issues special discount credit cards to his fellow rabbonim. With these Chief Rabbi discount cards, the rabbonim get discounts at all the kosher shops and butcheries. 
    Where can I apply for a Chief Rabbi discount card?
  3. 1 Basil Katzenellenbogen 19 Feb
    Can the office of the Chief Rabbi please report back on this taskforce? The announcement went out over a year ago. Not even an interim report? Nu - what's happening here.


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