Trading Partners Don't Like Cool
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association has never been a fan of Country of Origin Labeling - and the group was disappointed with the final rule issued by USDA in May. At that time - NCBA President Scott George said USDA chose to set U.S. cattle producers up for financial losses.
NCBA CEO Forrest Roberts says that’s because Mexico and Canada are the industry’s best trading partners and they don’t like the rule either.?
Roberts: “What they are telling us is very simple, ‘We feel that this is not appropriate and this will cause ultimately retaliation.’ And when that happens that retaliation only hurts one person in this supply chain -- that is the beef producer.”??Roberts says that’s why NCBA is fighting so hard for a permanent solution to the challenges surrounding COOL.
What’s more - he says market research has shown consumers don’t see value in requiring a country-of-origin label
Roberts: “What they see of extreme value is a label that really differentiates products -- like for example Certified Angus Beef is a great example where it is a marketing point of differentiation. So Country of Origin Labeling has nothing to do with a safety related discussion but has more to do with a marketing related conversation. We feel that private industry is best suited to give marketing and product differentiation, not the federal government.”
When the customer says the information isn’t of value - Roberts says it’s important to listen.