Tirat Zvi specializes in the development, production and marketing of meat delicacies: pastrami, cold cuts, sausages and other products.
The Tirat Zvi plant is located in the magnificent Bet She'an valley surrounded by mountains. The Gilad Mountains lie to its east, the Gilboa hills to the west, and the Isaachar Heights in the north. To those arriving, the place looks like the entrance to paradise. The unique story of Tirat Zvi’s plant is interwoven with the glorious history of Kibbutz Tirat Zvi.
History of Tirat Zvi
Tirat Zvi was the first kibbutz founded in the framework of the Religious Kibbutz Movement, and for many years marked the southern border of the Beit She'an valley. Its founders dreamed of building a kibbutz that combined Torah life with labor based on shared educational, cultural and economic institutions.
Tirat Zvi was established on 30 June 1937 as a “Tower and Stockade Settlement”, by about 100 members who emigrated from central European countries, namely, Poland, Germany and Romania. Over the years they were joined by additional immigrants from England, North America , Bnei Akiva groups and Israeli "garinim"; organized groups of soldiers who integrate army service with agricultural pioneering.
The idealistic values of the young members led them to build the first Jewish settlement in the valley. The extreme environmental conditions along with the hostile security situation posed life threatening risks for the young kibbutzniks. They were exposed to excessive heat, malarial mosquitoes and Arab neighbors who attacked them.
Origin of the name Tirat Zvi
On the site where the founders established kibbutz Tirat Zvi stood a two-story building built from mud bricks, named “the castle” (Tira) by the settlers. The castle gave the place its name with the addition of “Zvi”, after Zvi Hirsch Kalischer, one of the founders of religious Zionism in the 19th century.
The story of the Tirat Zvi plant
The kibbutz members realized that there was insufficient livelihood from agriculture. The lands suitable for cultivating were split up, the fields required irrigation and the kibbutz’s available water spring, Abu Faraj, was far from the fields. The Arab neighbors stole agricultural equipment incessantly and invaded the fields with their flocks.
The suggestion was raised to establish a plant for producing sausages. The idea stemmed from the presence of Arab cattle herds in the area, and from the notion that if a religious kibbutz produced meat, there would be many consumers in the country interested in buying kosher products (not to mention the longing for tastes of the "old world"). The idea grew to fruition.
The Tirat Zvi plant was established in 1946, prior to the declaration of the State of Israel. The work conditions were harsh – everything was done by hand with huge physical effort. During the War of Independence there were insufficient permanent employees and the members worked from sunup to midnight in order to supply the sausages.
In 1948, one of the kibbutz members traveled to Chicago, where he obtained assistance from the HaPoel HaMizrahi Organization which rallied to help the kibbutz under attack. The organization purchased meat production machinery for the plant and shipped it to Haifa port, and brought it by trucks to kibbutz Tirat Zvi. At the same time, smoking ovens were built. These changes eased the effort of the work process.
Following the war, at the beginning of the austerity period, only dry sausage for rationing was produced at the plant. The meat for producers arrived in rations and the plant worked only one day a week. In 1953, the plant was closed due to a scarcity of raw material.
In 1959 the plant was reopened. New machines were purchased, the building was renovated, hot and cold water pipes were installed, commercial ties were made, and members were recruited for work. At that time there were no organized departments. Each employee fulfilled a number of roles, until it was decided to establish a new plant.
In 1967 the new plant was constructed at the site where it is today. Whoever visits and sees the plant today with its various departments – ranging from intake of raw materials to processing, the laboratory, a dining room and an outlet store, will find it difficult to believe the stories of the past, and will be amazed at the tenacity and determination of the founders who established the plant from virtually nothing and the kibbutz who has lead it up to this very day.
The company’s marketing revolution
In the beginning, Tirat Zvi sold its products to the institutional market. In 1978, in order to supply households with the company’s products, it was decided to establish the Delicativ Chain. Customers were enthusiastic about the tasty high quality products and the brand’s image was forged.
During the ’80s the company began to market its products via the country’s marketing chains, as well as to export them to kosher markets in the United States, England and France. As a result the range of products grew and the packaging underwent a face-lift.
In 2000, Tnuva acquired 50% of the plant’s shares. This partnership delegates Tnuva to carry out the distribution, trade and sales. The distribution unit of the company ensures speedy daily delivery to each of the thousands of points of sale spread across the country.
Today, one can see how the constant endeavors of the organization toward the goals of improvement and modernization have brought Tirat Zvi to levels of international standards. The plant operates a research and development division based on recent developments in meat science and consumer trends. The operations division uses the most advanced production methods and quality assurance technologies in the world. These advances enable mass production during a short time span while ensuring the quality and uniformity of the product. The products’ development is a long and complex process, which includes numerous stages of tasting and checking until arriving at the best product.
All the company’s products are under the kashrut of Rabbi Werner, the Chief Rabbi of Hadera. In addition, there is a range of “Mehadrin Halak” (extra kosher) products, under the kashrut of Rabbi Mahpood and Rabbi Rubin.
Policy of Quality
Tirat Zvi has upheld an uncompromising policy of quality for over 67 years and it adheres to stringent standards, among them: 2008: ISO 9001 – an international quality management standard ensuring the supply of products that meet the requirements of the customer and the law.
- BRC British retail chains consortium standard based on principles of international food safety.
- Food safety standard of the Israel veterinary services and the Ministry of Health.
- USDA approval
Toward the future
As a leading company Tirat Zvi will continue to market existing and new high quality products to the satisfaction of its consumers.