National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson spoke in favor of the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service final rule announced Tuesday that will broaden the market for smaller state-inspected plants.
"This new rule will benefit small packing plants across the country by allowing certain state-inspected meat and poultry to cross state lines," said Johnson. "This should increase market access for these smaller plants. By allowing smaller plants to sell into other states, the rule will help increase competition and grow jobs in rural America."
The new rule will benefit family farmers and ranchers who utilize smaller plants, because it will increase the market for their products and ensure they receive a fair price.
"We're excited to announce this new rule that offers smaller plants the opportunity to expand their market and sell their products to new customers," said FSIS Administrator Al Almanza. "Allowing these state-inspected establishments to ship their products across state lines has the potential to expand rural development and jobs, increase local tax bases, strengthen rural communities, and ensure that food is safe for consumers."
NFU was very active in ensuring that interstate shipment of state-inspected meat and poultry was placed in the 2008 Farm Bill. Johnson says they are pleased to see the final rule take effect.
For qualifying plants, the FSIS final rule allows meat and poultry that is inspected at the state level to be shipped across state lines, as long as it meets federal standards set under the Federal Meat Inspection Act and Poultry Products Inspection Act. These establishments will receive inspection services from state inspection personnel that have been trained in the requirements of the FMIA and PPIA. Prior to this rule, plants that were only state-inspected could only sell their meat and poultry within their own state.
To view the final rule, visit the Federal Register online at www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/.