Dec 29, 2008 by Lee Hart

COOL costing $90 per head

According to the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA)
November/December newsletter Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) is so far costing Canadian cattle
feeders and cow/calf producers about $90 per head.

There is really no ‘good news’ scenario to this situation.
COOL refers to legislation introduced in the U.S. earlier this fall, that
requires all meat – beef, pork poultry, bison, lamb – produced from animals
born, raised and fed outside of the United States to be labeled  and displayed as such by U.S. meat

The net result of having to segregate these animals and meat
through the U.S. food chain is that fewer and fewer meat packers and retailers
want to be bothered with Canadian-raised animals. And if they do, it is at a
considerable discount.

The CCA is monitoring the situation and trying to keep
producers up-to-date and aware, but there is little that can be done. The CCA
says there may be opportunity for a legal challenge to COOL but that would be a
long and costly process.

If you get to the CCA website at and click on the COOL update
link, you can get a very clear picture of the situation.

There are five labeling classification under COOL:
Classification ‘A’ refers to labeling of meat from cattle born and raised in
the U.S. ; ‘B’ refers to Canadian born feeders fed in the U.S. (for a period of
time); ‘C’ refers to Canadian-fed cattle imported for immediate slaughter; ‘D’
refers to foreign meat imported into the U.S. labeled ‘Product of Canada; and
‘E’ refers to labeling of ground beef products. COOL does not apply to meat
used in foodservice or processed foods.

As of the December 23, 2008 update, only two large U.S.
packers, two mid-size U.S. packers and one small U.S. packers were accepting C
classification cattle. The CCA reports that starting in January Cargill will be
accepting B classification cattle at its Fort Morgan, Colordao and Plainview
Texas plants, but no more C cattle. Tyson is no longer accepting C Class

A more detailed explanation is found in the CanFax report on
U.S. packer procurement policies on the CCA website.

The CCA monthly newsletter is also available on the CCA


Lee Hart

Lee Hart

Lee Hart is a long-time farm writer, and honorary member of the Alberta Institute of Agrologists, with many observations on the agriculture industry, who never hesitates to admit he is wrong (should that ever happen.)

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  • The biggest fear amongest producers is that by the time the challenge is heard by the WTO, Canadian feedlot producers will be dead and buried. As the basis continues to widen things will become more difficult and we are running out of time. This may be a time when Canada’s diplomatic tactics may not be applicable.

  • Lee, I know you’re a little older than me so I thought I would send you this useful definition of a blog:
    A blog is basically a journal that is available on the web. The activity of updating a blog is “blogging” and someone who keeps a blog is a “blogger.” Blogs are typically updated daily using software that allows people with little or no technical background to update and maintain the blog
    Do I need to give you a hint of what your blog is missing? ha ha. Cory.