Country of Origin Labeling
"COOL" Affidavits...

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.View/Print Affidavit for livestock sold to a buyer/agent: .View/Print Affidavit for livestock sold directly to a Packer:
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.Producer Implementation Guidelines...

n.Background:

  • Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) is a USDA marketing program mandated by the 2002 Farm Bill which requires retailers to notify their customers of the country of origin of beef (including veal), goat meat, lamb, pork, poultry, fish and other perishable agricultural commodities. Retailers, packers and their suppliers are mutually responsible for contributing the information necessary to meet the requirements of this new law, which becomes effective Sept. 30, 2008.
n.What This Means:
  • Livestock producers are not directly regulated by the COOL law because livestock are not considered covered commodities. However, only producers have first-hand knowledge concerning the origin of their animals. Definitive origin information must be provided to slaughter facilities so that meat products as covered commodities can be accurately labeled at retail. Livestock producers should be prepared to provide necessary country of origin documentation to their buyers.
n.How To Comply With COOL:
  • Producers may use one of the following methods to comply with the COOL law and provide required country-of-origin information to buyers.
    • Affidavits: Packers may rely upon producer affidavits to initiate claims. Affidavits must be made by someone having first-hand knowledge and the affidavit must identify animals unique to the transaction. TSCRA has provided affidavits that may be used to comply with COOL. 
    • National Animal Identification System (NAIS): Animals that are part of a NAIS-compliant system may rely on presence of an official ear tag and/or the presence of any accompanying animal markings, as applicable, to base origin claims.
    • USDA-Approved Age Verification Programs: Participation in USDA Quality System Verification Programs (QSVP), such as the USDA Process Verified Program (PVP) and the Quality Systems Assessment (QSA) Program that contain a source verification component, is also considered acceptable evidence to substantiate COOL claims.
n.How to Use Affidavits:
  • The industry has developed recommended country of origin affidavit statements, each of which is explained below:
  • If you raise, purchase, or sell cattle from/to a non-packer individual/company/entity, there are two options:
    • Option 1: Complete the Producer Affidavit entitled “Affidavit of Country of Origin of Livestock”.  If provided to a party you frequently sell to, check "Affidavit valid for future sales of livestock to this agent/buyer" and an affidavit is only required one time.
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    • Option 2: Include the following statement on any of your business forms (printed, stamped or handwritten on a Bill of Sale or Invoice). This statement must appear on the business form every time the animals are bought or sold:
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    I attest that all livestock referenced by this document and transferred are of _________________________ origin.
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    Signature: ____________________________ Date: ____________________________
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  • If you sell directly to a packer, you should complete the Producer Affidavit entitled "Affidavit for Livestock sold directly to a Packer".


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