November 19, 2013
Cattle producers from North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Kansas and Colorado together with Canadian ranchers discussed US country of origin labelling (COOL) at Agribition in Regina last week.
"It's good to hear these people want to comply with the WTO. That's huge because it means we're not dealing with radical people. They would like to see this thing resolved, just like we would," said Mark Elford of the Saskatchewan Cattlemen's Association following the meeting.
Canada is challenging the American meat labelling rules at the World Trade Organization. Canadian ranchers say the rules are costing or will soon cost them close to US$100 per head.
Aaron Jacobson of the North Dakota Stockmen's Association said COOL is also costing him money when he acquires cattle from north of the border.
Not all the American producers at Agribition support the Canadian position, though.
"We continue to support country of origin labelling. We feel it's something very important for our country and for our producers. However, we also understand that we need to be WTO-compliant. We need to figure out the regulatory issues that are going on with that," said Silvia Christen of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association.