New Opportunities for Small Processors

US - Ohio is to be the first state to participate in USDA's Cooperative Interstate Shipment programme.
calendar icon 13 August 2012
clock icon 2 minute read

Under the programme, Ohio's small, state-inspected meat processors will be able to ship their products across state lines.

The cooperative interstate shipment programme will expand economic opportunities for America's small meat and poultry processors, strengthen state and local economies, and increase consumer access to safe, locally-produced food.

"This agreement allows a small processor in Ohio to sell products to neighbors in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Indiana, and beyond," said Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan.

"Expanding market opportunities for meat from local processors makes these small businesses more viable, while also ensuring that participating establishments have robust food safety systems in place to produce safe food for consumers."

Under the cooperative agreement, small, state-inspected businesses with 25 or fewer employees will be allowed to sell meat products across state lines. Meat products produced in selected establishments will be subject to the same regulatory sampling programmes as those established in the Federal inspection programme.

The Cooperative Interstate Shipment programme was established by the 2008 Farm Bill.

In 2011, USDA finalised regulations to allow state employees to administer federal regulations and use federal marks of inspection at selected establishments. Prior to the establishment of this programme, state-inspected businesses could only sell products within their state.

State-inspected establishments interested in shipping interstate should contact their state's meat inspection programme. In addition, USDA will shortly publish a directive detailing how states and small businesses can join the Cooperative Interstate Shipment programme.

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