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Determination of the Impact of COOL Expected

by 5m Editor
20 August 2008, at 10:25am

CANADA - The Saskatchewan Pork Development Board predicts American pork processors and retailers will ultimately determine the impact of new U.S. Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling on Canadian hog producers, writes Bruce Cochrane.

With last month's release of the USDA's interim final rule for Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling, pork producers, processors and retailers are preparing for the scheduled September 30 implementation date.

Four labels will identify pork produced exclusively in the U.S., pork produced partially in he U.S. and in another country, pork from animals raised in another country but processed in the U.S. and pork imported from another country.

Sask Pork Policy Analyst Mark Ferguson says, if processors or retailers consider the system to complex or costly they could refuse Canadian sourced pigs or discount the price.

Mark Ferguson-Saskatchewan Pork Development Board

Although the rule is apparently a little more flexible than the previous one, it's very similar to what was introduced several years ago.

Everything filters down from the retail level.

The rule specifies that the retailers have to ensure that the products are labelled so the requirements get filtered down all the way back to a producer and so some pork processing plants in the U.S. could decide to not purchase Canadian hogs or to purchase them at a lower price.

The rule is going to be decided, its effect on the Canadian market place, it'll be decided by retailers and U.S. packing plants and their ability to efficiently comply with the rule while at the same time utilizing Canadian product.

It looks like the wording of the rule is going to give them some options and it'll be up to retailers to decide what type of labels they're willing to accept and how it'll filter back to producers.


Ferguson encourages producers to watch the situation closely, document any adverse effect on price or ability to market into the U.S. and advise Sask Pork of the situation.

5m Editor