Tyson Foods Inc., one of the nation’s largest beef packers, has stopped buying cattle directly from Canadian feeders citing burdensome costs incurred because of U.S. country-of-origin labeling (COOL) rules, seen as cumbersome by the beef packing industry.
The revised COOL regulations require packers to label muscle cuts of meat with information about where each of the production steps occurred.
"These new rules significantly increase costs because they require additional product codes, production breaks and product segregation, including a separate category for cattle shipped directly from Canada to US beef plants without providing any incremental value to our customers," Worth Sparkman, a Tyson spokesman told Meat & Poultry Magazine.
He said Tyson did not have enough warehousing capacity to accommodate the proliferation of products requiring different types of labels due to this regulation.
“As a result, we have discontinued buying cattle shipped to our US beef plants directly from Canada, effective mid-October, but will continue to seek alternatives that will allow us to resume importing cattle directly from Canada,” he said.
Tyson said it continues to buy Canadian-born cattle that are finished for market at US feedlots and remains hopeful the new rules will eventually be rescinded.