We talk COOL with Colin Woodall
Pete McClymont Nebraska Cattlemen EVP interviewed Colin Woodall, NCBA CEO about Country of Origin Labeling.
Country of Origin Labeling an issue the industry has been dealing with for nearly 20 years. A significant misinterpretation is that consumers don’t know where their food is coming from; therefore, it must be contaminated beef coming from other countries. However, that is not the case; COOL is a marketing program which has nothing to do with food safety. For 6.5 years COOL was the law of the land and there is no indication that it benefited the industry. In fact, many folks can account for the losses they saw because of country of origin labeling.
If you look at the data, the price slide started well over 6 months before COOL was repealed in December 2015. Canada and Mexico are 2 of the top 5 export markets for beef and moments away from putting retaliatory tariffs in place over COOL. The World Trade Organization ruled in their favor over COOL saying it violated the trade agreement because of the segregation that went into place in order to comply with country of origin labeling.
NCBA believes in a voluntary country of origin labeling program. Producers would not get the benefits of individualized creative product labeling from a federally mandated program that they would with a voluntary one. The beef industry needs to be flexible with labeling, allowing producers to do what is best for their operation and for consumers across the World.
Listen to the full interview here.
Written by: Talia Goes