How Will the Market Respond to the End of COOL?

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U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack declared on Friday afternoon that “effective immediately” the U.S. Department of Agriculture would not be enforcing country of origin labeling rules for beef and pork.

It’s been over seven years since American packers were forced to segregate Canadian animals and meat. How quickly can they go back to operating how they did before the labeling legislation took effect in 2008?

Kevin Grier

Kevin Grier

Guelph-based meat and livestock market analyst Kevin Grier joins us for this discussion about the cost of COOL, the changes that are being made in response to the legislation passed on Friday and the impact Canadian producers will (or will not) notice.

“The costs were real. Our cattle, our hogs were discounted because it cost more to handle them,” he explains. “And now those costs are gone. It’s really fantastic news.”

Grier suggests there will be some “feeling out” by packers to relearn supply/demand factors without the interference from artificial COOL barriers.

“Some retailers had set themselves up to be U.S.-only. They might say they want to stay that way, but then the market will dictate that,” he says. “At least there’s nothing to impede the marketplace from working the way it should.”

Will U.S. packers immediately open their doors to Canadian born and/or raised animals? Who will notice it the most? Check out the audio below for more with Kevin Grier on how the end of COOL could affect Canadian cattle and hog producers:

Related: COOL Repealed


Kelvin Heppner

Kelvin Heppner is a field editor for Real Agriculture based near Altona, Manitoba. Prior to joining Real Ag he spent more than 10 years working in radio. He farms with his father near Rosenfeld, MB and is on Twitter at @realag_kelvin


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