Canadian and U.S. Pork Producers Disappointed by Lack of Flexibility of U.S. V-COOL

Farmscape for April 4, 2024

Full Interview 8:40 Listen

The Chair of the Canadian Pork Council says pig farmers on both sides of the Canada U.S. border are equally disappointed with the restrictive nature and lack of flexibility of labelling guidelines being introduced under U.S. voluntary country of origin labelling.
On March 11 U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced voluntary country of origin labelling or V-COOL will come into effect by January 1, 2026. Under the new U.S. voluntary country of origin labelling “Product of USA” or “Made in the USA” may only appear on the labels of meat, poultry and egg products when they are derived from animals born, raised, slaughtered and processed in the United States. Canadian Pork Council Chair René Roy says the only difference between the new labelling protocol and mandatory U.S. country of origin labelling, which was ruled illegal by the World Trade Organization and abandoned by the U.S., is that the name has changed.

Quote-René Roy-Canadian Pork Council:
We are disappointed as an organization that the United States or the USDA has not accepted our position that more flexibility would have been allowed in the V-COOL. What would change with the new system is that, if somebody wants to have the “Product of USA” on their label they would have to not only have a product that has been made in the USA but also all the other components of it must be included so it has to be raised, slaughtered and processed in the United States if we speak about pork. So, it’s quite a restrictive label and not realistic considering how great is the trade between Canada and the United States as we speak about pork.
This is not only our position but also the U.S. industry position and the Government of Canada so that’s a disappointment for us. The position that the United States has taken on this file is disappointing.

Roy says the Canadian Pork Council will be monitoring the impact of V-COOL on the movement of both meat and live animals and working with the Canadian government to ensure any disruptions are addressed.

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