After a two-year process and months of delays, the Farm Bill passed Congress Tuesday with two key provisions that the rancher's advocacy group R-CALF USA has strongly advocated. "Our priority for the past two years was to ensure that neither country-of-origin labeling (COOL) nor enforcement of the Packers and Stockyards Act would be weakened in the 2014 Farm Bill," R-CALF USA chief executive Bill Bullard said.
With COOL, "the Farm Bill enables cattle producers, who have no means to independently require retailers to distinguish their products from imported products, to nevertheless inform consumers as to where their beef was born, raised and slaughtered," Bullard said.
Bullard also said that cattle producers will not be hamstrung by the bill when they seek to invoke the Packers and Stockyards Act to stop transnational meatpackers from engaging in "unfair and deceptive practices that have the effect of denying independent producers access to the marketplace."
"Congress has set a stage that will allow us to put a stop to the transnational meatpackers' efforts to capture control of the live cattle supply chain away from U.S. farmers and ranchers," he said.
"Our hats are off to the leaders in Congress that have begun to listen to independent producers...despite the unrelenting lobbying efforts by transnational meatpackers and their allied trade groups."