Photo Credit: Jorge Royan via Wikimedia
A cattle market in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Argentina, the world’s fifth largest beef exporter, will charter a private flight for Israeli kashrut supervisors to certify tons and tons of local meat for the planet’s kosher markets, Reuters reported Thursday, noting that Argentina has imposed one of the toughest coronavirus closures in the world.

According to the head of Argentina’s meat export consortium chief Mario Ravettino, Israel is Argentina’ third largest buyer of beef, to the tune of $100 million annually (out of an annual overall beef export revenue of between $700 and $500 million). So, with the ban on international commercial flights landing in Argentina, Ravettino told Reuters, “the only alternative has been to be able to try to arrange a charter in combination with Israeli clients, and supervised, authorized and coordinated by the governments.”

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As a result of Argentina’s tough coronavirus quarantine policy, the country, with a population around 45 million, has seen only 9,931 confirmed cases of the pandemic, with 416 deaths and 3,032 recoveries. Israel, with a population of 9 million, has had 16,690 cases, with 279 deaths and 13,915 recoveries.

Argentine growers slaughter 13 million head of cattle a year, which is equal to 2.8 million tons. Each Argentine person consumes 122 pounds of beef a year (this presumably does not include babies, but hey, who knows?). The popular cattle brands in Argentina are Shorthorn, Hereford, and Angus.

In normal times, Israeli kashrut supervisors travel to Argentina twice a year and stay for several months at the meat plants each time, in large groups of some 15 supervisors per plant.

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