October 9, 2008
The American Farm Bureau Federation has prepared guidelines to provide Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) documentation to buyers, in order to help producers comply with the new regulation.
Livestock producers must provide definitive origin information to slaughter facilities under the new COOL rule that went into effect this month.
Packers may rely on producer affidavits to initiate claims. Affidavits must be made by someone having first-hand knowledge and the affidavit must identify animals unique to the transaction.
Animals that are part of a NAIS-compliant system may rely on the presence of an official ear tag and/or the presence of any accompanying animal markings, as applicable, to base origin claims.
Participation in USDA Quality System Verification Programs (QSVP), such as the USDA Process Verified Program (PVP) and the Quality Systems Assessment (QSA) Program, which contain a source verification component, is also considered acceptable evidence to substantiate COOL claims.
COOL is a USDA programme that requires retailers to notify their customers of the country of origin of meat and other perishable agricultural commodities.