Tyson Stops Purchasing Slaughter-ready Canadian Cattle
In May the USDA published the regulatory changes to Country of Origin Labeling or COOL and although the change was effective immediately -- enforcement of COOL was to be delayed for six months for industry education.
Now approaching the fifth-month-mark of that decision, in mid-October Tyson Foods has stopped purchasing Canadian cattle to be shipped directly to their processing plants. COOL would require meat packaging labels to show where an animal was born, raised and slaughtered which Tyson says would mean higher expenses. Tyson is the largest U.S. meat processor.
Field reporter Greg Martin has more
Martin: "A Tyson spokesperson said that they do not have enough warehouse capacity to accommodate the increase of products requiring different types of labels due to the regulation, stating that, "These new rules significantly increase costs because they require additional product codes, production breaks and product segregation, including a separate category for cattle shipped directly from Canada to U.S. beef plants without providing any incremental value to our customers,' "
Washington's Tyson processing plant in Pasco has been a large buyer of cattle from British Columbia and Alberta. This decision to discontinue purchasing Canadian slaughter-ready cattle is expected to cause a decline of Canada's beef exports by more than 150,000 head a year.
Tyson will however continue to purchase Canadian-born cattle to be sent to U.S. feedlots.