Shemitah Fruit in the market – Tammuz, and ordering online fruit from supermarkets
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Anna apples that ripe at Tammuz vs. other verities that will be available only at Elul
I order my fresh produce from a supermarket (Shuk Ramot Ha'ir) under Rav Efrati's certification that has a mix of shishit, nochri, chu"l, and otzar beit din produce. Online orders do not specify the source of each product. If produce is not on the list of otzar beit din items you are selling (see link at the end of this message), then is it safe to assume that those items are not otzar beit din?
For example, I see that apples are not currently on the list of items you are selling, but they are listed on your "When will shemitah produce arrive in the supermarket?" chart. Do I need to be concerned that apples I order this week from Shuk Ha'ir Ramot are otzar beit din? I see your chart states that apples could possibly belong to shemitah, but I don't see that Otzar Ha'aretz distributes otzar beit din apples.
Each otzar beit din system is different and while there are some products that are the same among all systems, some contracted with farmers growing different products.
For instance, we at Otzar Ha'aretz currently distribute pears, cherries, and green grapes, but Rav Efrati's otzar beit din does not. Rav Efrati's system, however, does currently distribute apples while Otzar Ha'aretz does not (see below). Your best bet is to speak with the mashgiach of any given store (the manager should be able to provide you with this information).
We called the headquarters of Rav Efrati's kashrut organization (in Yad Binyamin) and spoke with their manager, Rabbi Shabtai Markowitz. He said that for Anna apples there is a 98% chance they are otzar beit din. For the other fruits (stone fruit) there is an 80% chance that they are otzar beit din: peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots, and now some mangoes. Their green grapes are mostly yivul nochri. Their green apples now are also mostly nochri.
To be on the safe side, he recommends treating whatever is on the list of produce that might belong to the shemitah year as having kedushat shevi'it.
For the chart When will shemitah produce arrive in the supermarket? click here:
For a list of otzar beit din produce available (and prices) at Otzar Ha'aretz (updated biweekly), click here.
Anna apples from Rav Efrati's otzar beit din (also available at Osher Ad);
note that there are signs at the stores themselves, just not online.
Update on Otzar Ha'aretz fruit: apples and more
I (Moshe Bloom) spoke with Rabbi Moshe Barnes, head of the kashrut department at Otzar Ha'aretz, about the fruits that will and will not be available at our otzar beit din:
This shemitah, Otzar Ha'artez will not be distributing Anna apples, which are the first apples to ripen. This is because they do not taste as good and are not as common. Rav Efrati's otzar beit din does distribute Anna apples.
Other apple varieties will only become available in another few months (around Elul). This is true for Otzar Ha'aretz and also Rav Efrati's otzar beit din.
Mango: In mid tammuz there will be mangoes with kedushat shevi'it available at all Otzar Ha'aretz stores.
Pears: There was an early pear variety available for a short time, but it is now gone. In another few weeks the main variety will become available.
Apricots and loquats are no longer available.