Iowa Pork Considers U.S. V-COOL

Farmscape for April 12, 2024

The CEO of Iowa Pork says pork producers in his state will be looking for clarity as details of new voluntary U.S. country of origin labelling regulation are explored.
On March 11th U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced voluntary country of original labelling, or V-COOL, will come into effect by January 1, 2026.
The new labelling regulations differ from mandatory country of origin labeling, which was ruled illegal by the World trade Organization and abandoned by the U.S. in that they allow the voluntary use of "Product of USA" or “Made in USA” label claims on meat, poultry and egg products only when they are derived from animals born, raised, slaughtered and processed in the United States.
Iowa Pork CEO Pat McGonegle, who was on hand yesterday in Winnipeg for Manitoba Pork's 2024 Annual General Meeting, says the announcement has created confusion.

Quote-Pat McGonegle-Iowa Pork Producers Association:
Iowa Pork's position on mandatory country of origin labelling, we're not in favor of it.
This voluntary proposal that's come out in early March, we're still evaluating that but, for the most part because we see ourselves as a North American industry, particularly in Iowa, we're probably not a big fan of it but we’re taking a look at it.
There's different segments, born, raised, processed that they're evaluating and they’ve come up with proposals for that we're looking at.
One of the biggest concerns we have is the number of pigs that come into Iowa, are finished there and processed there aren't born in Iowa and so how do we handle those?
I think this proposal says they would be labelled as something that's not U.S.
I think that's something we want to have discussion about.
The other part of this is what is the market place going to do?
What are retailers going to want from processors and how does that all mesh together.
Obviously at the end of the day we're really concerned about how this impacts pork producers in Iowa.

McGonegle says members of his organization are still evaluating the new labelling guidelines and working to get a handle on how voluntary country of origin labelling differs from mandatory country of origin labelling.
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Bruce Cochrane.

       *Farmscape is produced on behalf of North America’s pork producers