People who think that buying kosher meat is more ethical than buying non-kosher meat...well, welcome to the next level.
The Rabbinical Assembly of the Conservative Movement (the professional association of Conservative and Masorti rabbis, which represents 1600 rabbis worldwide) is embracing a brand-new ethical/kosher "Good Housekeeping Seal" of sorts-- called Hechsher Tzedek, which means Justice (Kosher) Certification.
Rabbi Morris Allen of Beth Jacob Congregation in Mendota Heights, MN is taking the lead in promoting use of the new hechsher. "We need to be certain that the food we are obligated to eat is produced in a way that demonstrates concern for those who produce it," he states on his blog-in-progress.
According to the press release:
While the effort began with establishing standards for the ethical treatment of workers at the Agri-Processors facility in Postville, Iowa, the Rabbinical Assembly is going well beyond the area of meat processing to encompass the entire food industury. Currently, Rabbi Allen is researching the social responsibility statements of other companies in order to design the guidelines for Hechsher Tzedek.
At its annual convention, held in Cambridge, MA, this past spring, the Rabbinical Assembly passed a resolution supporting Hechsher Tzedek.