With implementation of Country of Origin Labeling (COOL), retailers will be required to notify their customers of the country of origin of beef and veal. IDairy reminded dairy producers that 840-RFID tags are an easy way to provide customers, and ultimately consumers, with the proper COOL documentation. USDA has designated 840-numbering series as U.S. origin livestock under the National Animal Idenfication System.
While retailers are required to ensure COOL compliance starting today, dairy producers at the other end of the food supply chain will have to verify the origin of cattle that are subject to COOL. This will necessitate maintenance of records from the producer through the retailer for such verification.
As an alternative to that recordkeeping, USDA will recognize the use of the official National Animal Identification System (NAIS) 840-RFID tags as a universal passport for a dairy animal during its lifetime, requiring no additional paperwork or recordkeeping. Official NAIS 840-RFID tags will indicate the animal is of U.S. origin no matter how many times ownership of the animal changes during its lifetime.
"IDairy strongly encourages dairy producers to utilize NAIS 840-RFID tags to allow verification of country of origin at the speed of commerce,” said Jerry Kozak, President and CEO of NMPF, which manages IDairy. "840-RFID tags for dairy cattle represent the simplest way for dairy producers to assist in the marketing of their cattle to ensure easy compliance with COOL.”
In order to use Official NAIS 840-RFID tags, dairy producers must register their premises as part of the NAIS. Today, more than 70% of the United States' 59,000 commercial dairy producers have already registered their premises, and can use 840-RFID tags immediately. Official NAIS 840-RFID tags can be purchased from many of the IDairy partners. For more information on registering your premise or obtaining Official NAIS 840-RFID tags, visit the IDairy online at www.idairy.org.