Final Product of USA Labeling Rule May Provide Opportunity to Capitalize on Added Market Value

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

Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays, is back talking with National Cattlemen’s Association executive director of government affairs, Kent Bacus, about more on the new “Product of USA” labeling rules from USDA. To listen to part 1 of the conversation, CLICK HERE.

Because the cattle sector markets cattle in many different ways, Bacus said this new ruling may allow retailers and packers who want to capture more added value to find more ways to do so. The ruling is voluntary, Bacus added, so if some decide there is no market value, they can choose not to engage.

Bacus added the USDA ruling simply sets guidelines for those who use “Product of USA” labeling in the domestic market.

“There is now some direction from USDA as to how to go about doing that,” Bacus said. “What I am hopeful for is that on the other end of that, there are producer opportunities. In order to meet that differentiation claim and to be able to market those products, that is something that will be rewarding for producers.”

Bacus said producers have already capitalized on local demand and various attributes that consumers identify with. If country of origin labeling is going to provide more value, Bacus said producers will want to capitalize on that aspect.

“It is still very early in the system and still very early in the process, and I think those are some bigger questions that are going to have to play out,” Bacus said.

Bacus said one concern is how this ruling will impact export markets, as “Product of USA” labels are on many products that go overseas.

“That is kind of done under a different banner because, in some of those places, we have to market through export verification programs,” Bacus said. “Other countries have different requirements.”

While USDA has stated that the ruling should not impact exports, Bacus said NCBA will be watching the issue closely.

“Exports add about $400 per head,” Bacus said. “That means the difference in the profitability for a lot of our producers. We want to make sure we continue to capitalize on all of that strong demand overseas.”

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.

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