Outside of marriage/divorce and conversion, the only other major function of the Rabbanut is supervision of Kashrut. In the US, all kashrut supervision is done by private bodies, the OU being the most prominent of them. Each community or city has their own general policy on Kashrut in much the same way that kehillas of old each had their own standard.
In Israel, things are different. It is true that private kashrut agencies such as Badatz Ha’Eda Hacharedit operate in Israel. However, the local and state Rabbinates still provide certification for most of the food products and services such as restaurants and catering. Furthermore, unlike the Charedi certifications which cater to the machmir crowd, the Rabbinate hechshers tend to be baseline.
As a state institution, the Rabbinate must cater not solely to the Orthodox community but to the public at large. This means avoiding the stringencies that would greatly increase the cost of kosher food, causing businesses to avoid selling kosher food altogether. Frummer than thou people may scoff at helping Shabbat desecrators who eat kosher but anyone who wishes to preserve the crucial traditionalist middle of this country would do well to keep their peace.
You can see where I’m going with this:
From where I’m sitting, eliminating the Rabbinate kashrut certification will empower the kashrut “chumra race”. Private businesses in Israel will either cater to the Charedi community, paying ever higher prices to the non-transparent private supervision agencies and mashgichim or else they’ll give up kashrut entirely.
Without an OU-type organization or other structure in place to maintain a baseline, cost-effective and transparent certification process, kashrut will become even more corrupt and disgusting. The likelihood of the terribly divided RZ community establishing such an organization is very slim. The Charedim, of course, couldn’t care less for the needs of the less-observant public.
So what to do?
Please leave suggestions in the comments below.