Country of Origin Labeling 
"COOL" Affidavits...

  • View/Print Affidavit for livestock sold to an individual or a non-packer company

  • View/Print Affidavit for livestock sold directly to a packer

  • Producer Implementation Guidelines...

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 claim.