NCBA’s Kent Bacus Encouraged by USDA “Product of USA” Rule Finalization

Listen to Ron Hays talk with Kent Bacus about USDA’s Product of USA labeling rule.

Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays, is talking with National Cattlemen’s Association executive director of government affairs, Kent Bacus, about the USDA finalizing the rule to align the voluntary “Product of USA” label claim with consumer understanding of what the claim means. 

“Initially, we are glad to see USDA take some action,” Bacus said. “This is an issue that we have been wanting to see resolved for several years. This all goes back to a grassroots-led committee that went and looked at all of the issues we were fighting with these Product of USA labels.”

With plenty of potential for mislabeling, especially for imported products, Bacus said this issue has gained the energy of NCBA for several years.

“We have been anticipating this final rule for quite some time, so now we are looking at those details,” Bacus said.

Bacus said NCBA will be looking at “qualified claims,” which refer to products made from a combination of U.S.-produced products and international products.

“There is going to be a lot of questions and this is going to be something we are going to have to look into,” Bacus said. “The compliance date for this is January 1st, 2026, so there is quite a long lead-up until this would actually go into effect. There is a lot to unpack here. At the end of the day, we are still going to be focused on finding those solutions that provide opportunities for producer premiums.”

Bacus said Product of USA labeling is a marketing issue, not a food safety or animal health issue. Bacus added this is a delicate situation because there is a lot at play, but it is an opportunity for U.S. cattle producers to differentiate their products in a way that is trade-compliant and yields premiums for products.

“This has been a big loophole for many years that has prevented U.S. cattle producers from being able to capitalize on that demand in the marketplace,” Bacus said. “We want to be able to have a voluntary way of differentiating our products in the marketplace, and doing so in a way that is trade compliant.”

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Ag Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR at the top of the story for today’s show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.

Verified by MonsterInsights