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TheBeefSite Newsletter - 25 September 2013

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TheBeefSite
Wednesday 25th September 2013.
Michael Priestley - Editor

Michael Priestley
Editor


Balancing the Costs and Benefits of COOL

As the world’s beef production systems become more complex and cattle are born and finished in more varied locations, labelling has come to the forefront of industry policy.

With enhanced traceability comes extra cost and some serious questions about whether some labelling systems are worthwhile pursuing at all.

Since 2008, Canadian ministers have rallied to quash US attempts to impose a mandatory country of origin label (COOL) for beef and pork.

This came to a head in May when Canadian governments threatened retaliatory action when the World Trade Organisation (WTO) ruled that the US COOL was inconsistent with Free Trade obligations.

What this has left is a policy in which US beef packers are required to list the countries where the animal was born raised and slaughtered.

So, instead of saying ‘Product of Mexico and the United States’ the label might say ‘Born in Mexico, raised and slaughtered in the United States’.

This offers consumers clearer information when buying beef but a Kansas State professor is not sure whether the benefits of labelling outweigh the costs.

Professor, Glynn Tonsor, an expert in agricultural economics at Kansas State University predicts that this is capable of causing an ‘economic drain’ that can even extend to cow-calf producers.

He sees more segregation increasing the problem Canada and Mexico have with selling livestock to the US while US packers will be saddled with higher costs of bureaucracy.

Meanwhile, noises from within the farming community at the start of the summer were suggesting that packer-producer organisations do not want to see COOL anyway.

On the subject of producer-packer groups, NFU President Roger Johnson said: It is important to understand that these organizations have never supported COOL because they can make more money by blending foreign products into American meat and pass it off as US-produced.”

So, it is the consumers are going to benefit. Not so says Professor Tonsor, who has studied demand for COOL meat.

He found that the man in the street has never heard of COOL and that such a labelling change would not alter market demand for beef steak and other proteins.

These conclusions do not agree with a Consumer Reports poll carried out back in 2008.

The poll found over 95 per cent of consumers wanting to see clearer labelling, detailing country of origin.

This kind of confusion is likely to carry on as experts have described COOL as a ‘multi-year’ process, still yet to be fully resolved.

 


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Global Beef Industry News

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FMD NEWS: Argentina Assists Paraguay With FMD Risk; Another Outbreak in China
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CME: October Live Cattle Closes up 65 Cents, Monday
Daily Dairy Trading: Butter Continues Climbing After Big Week
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USDA Cattle-on-Feed Report Bullish For Cattle Futures This Week
Weekly Cattle Summary: August Brings Red Hot Beef Prices to Shoppers
CME: Cattle Numbers Shrink, Pig and Poultry Expanding
CME: Traders Favour Upside, Thursday
CME: Increased Consumer Willingness to Pay for Steaks, Chicken Breasts and Hamburger
CME: Retail Meat Prices Forced Higher in August
NFU to House: Listen to Family Farmers/Fishermen, Defeat HR 3012
Another US Farm Bill Delay?
Jim Wyckoff's Closing Report: December Cattle Closes Higher
CME: Futures Close Higher, Wednesday
House Nutrition Legislation is Hinderance to Farm Bill Process
Only Two Antibiotic-resistance Threats Connected to Food Animals
NFU Encouraged by EPA Proposed Rule, Agriculture Remains Exempt
Jim Wyckoff's Closing Report: Cattle Markets Close Higher Wednesday
CME: Futures Close Lower To October 2014, Tuesday
CME: Declining Corn and Soybean Condition
'Unfinished Business' with Corn, Soy Production
Health Agency Addresses Antibiotic Resistance Issue
Campaign Group Blames Antibiotic Resistance on Farmers

   Djibouti

Food Security Remains Turbulent in Djibouti

   United Kingdom

County Down Farmers Urged to Take Badger Sett Survey
Meat Factories Now Offering Bonus For Cattle Kept on Fewer Farms
Farmers Urged to Vaccinate Cattle in Response to Blackleg Outbreak
Agency Calls for Research on Meat Control
Agency Seeks Comments on UK Feed Law
LMC: Tight Supplies and Bonus Scheme See Higher Beef Prices
TB Plans Announced for Northern Ireland
LMC: Cattle Supplies Tighten Across Northern Ireland
Vaccinating Cattle Could Save Human Lives
Technical Soil Conference Looks at 'Hidden' Asset

   China

China Partners Mongolia in Transboundary Brucellosis Battle
OIE Reports Another FMD Outbreak in Xinjiang
China Looking to Uganda to Meet Food Demand
August Sees Chinese Red Meat Soar

   European Union

How Much Closer Are We to European Reform?
Commissioner Calls for Pragmatism over Trade Partnership
Commission Clears JBS Acquisition of Seara, Zenda
Organic Farming Needs Stricter Rules

   Argentina

Argentina Assists Paraguay With FMD Risk

   Austria

Austrian Farmers Advised on Dry Cow Strategy

   Czech Republic

Czech Farmers To Receive 850 Million Crowns in State Support

   Russian Federation

OIE Reports FMD Outbreak in Russia

   Paraguay

JBS Appoints New President in Paraguay
Paraguayan Shipments Highest Since Foot and Mouth Outbreak

   Brazil

Short Supply of Cattle Puts Live and Deadweight Prices Up Through September
Brazilian Beef Sector Reaches Peak
New Corporate Affairs Chief at BRF

   Ireland

Farmers Association Endorses Position on CAP Consultation
Meat Processors and Retailers Profit at Expense of Livestock Producers

   Dominican Republic

Skills Push to Hit Cattle Sector in Dominican Republic

   Australia

MLA: Weekly Cattle Summary
Australia Expects Record Value of Farm Production

   Libya

Foot and Mouth Disease Returns in Libya

   Indonesia

New Regulations on Meat Imports in Indonesia

   Colombia

Customs Union Says Yes To Colombian Poultry and Beef

   France

SPACE 2013 Beats Records

   Turkey

OIE: Authorities Warn of Lumpy Skin Disease in Turkey

   Uruguay

Beef Consumption Falling, Pork Rising in Uruguay

   Sweden

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