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COOL Expected to Hit Small Independent American Farmers Hardest

by 5m Editor
5 March 2003, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1192. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

Manitoba Pork Council


Farm-Scape is sponsored by
Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork

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Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council
and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1192

The Canadian Pork Council says the implementation of mandatory country of origin labelling legislation in the US will take its biggest toll on smaller independent American farmers.

Voluntary US country of origin labelling guidelines came into effect in October last year and a mandatory system is due to be implemented in September 2004. Last month the US based National Pork Producers Council released a study which estimates the traceback system necessary for mandatory labelling will cost over ten dollars per hog...equivalent to a ten percent increase in production costs. Canadian Pork Council Executive Director Martin Rice says groups set up in fairly tight integrated structures seem least worried about COOL.

"They have control of the animals right from birth to when they are processed.

Some of these companies, such as Seaboard, have already I think made some publicity about their ability to provide that trace through and identification. It may be that such companies see cool as providing them some marketing opportunities. I saw a similar comment from Smithfield.

I think it's becoming evident that COOL is a terribly expensive proposition for the US industry but it perhaps is most particularly difficult or most particularly expensive for those that are not involved in integrated systems and who also may not have a lot of resources of their own by which to find the right ID system and get it implemented etceteras.

I think it's becoming more apparent that this COOL is going to be particularly difficult for the independent and smaller producers."

Rice views the prospects of mandatory country of origin labelling being more problematic for the independent producers and more expensive for those smaller producers that don't have as many pigs to spread those costs over.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor