COOL change brings hope to Canadians.
USDA's recently issued country-of-origin labeling (COOL) regulations have given Canadian cattle producers hope that changes included in those final rules will ease some market uncertainty.
Farm Credit Canada says the final regulations will allow for more flexibility on labeling requirements in the U.S. for meat from animals of American and Canadian origin that are brought together during a production run.
The Canadian Cattlemen's Association says they still oppose the mandatory labeling and consider it a barrier to trade, but hope the latest changes will improve the situation some.
According to CCA President Brad Wildeman, the changes provide the same flexibility for use of a mixed-origin label on beef or pork derived from animals imported direct-for-slaughter, as now exists for use with a mixed-origin label on products derived from US-origin animals.
"This should provide U.S. buyers of Canadian cattle and pigs greater flexibility in managing their inventories," Wildeman says. "We hope this approach enables U.S. facilities to resume accepting Canadian cattle for immediate slaughter along with Canadian-born cattle fed in the U.S. We also hope that this flexibility eliminates, or at least reduces, price discounts by U.S. packers for Canadian cattle."
The U.S. and Canada are each other's largest agricultural trading partners. In 2007, bilateral agricultural trade totaled C$32.3 billion.