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USDA announces finalization of "Product of USA" label

Secretary Vilsack reveals new “Product of USA” labeling rule, allocates $9.5M for local meat processing projects.

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At the National Farmers Union Annual Convention, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack made several significant announcements regarding consumer protection and market fairness. These include the finalization of a rule to align the voluntary “Product of USA” label claim with consumer understanding, the awarding of $9.5 million to 42 projects through the Local Meat Capacity grant program, and new actions to ensure transparency and a fair and competitive market in the U.S seed industry.

"Product of USA" final rule

The final rule allows the voluntary “Product of USA” or “Made in the USA” label claim to be used on meat, poultry, and egg products only when they are derived from animals born, raised, slaughtered, and processed in the United States. This rule aims to prohibit misleading U.S. origin labeling in the market, ensuring truthful information for consumers about the origin of their food.

  • The "Product of USA" or "Made in the USA" label claim will continue to be voluntary.
  • Establishments voluntarily using the claim subject to the final rule will need to comply with the new regulatory requirements by January 1, 2026.

USDA has also published an updated labeling guidance on the use of voluntary U.S.-origin label claims to provide examples of claims and the types of documentation that establishments may maintain to support the use of the claims. The guidance will be open for public comment for 60 days after publishing in the Federal Register.

Local meat capacity grant program

USD is awarding $9.5 million to 42 projects through the Local Meat Capacity (Local MCap) grant program. This initial set of awards through Local MCap is for Simplified Equipment Only projects. The Local MCap grant program is targeted to support meat and poultry processors with smaller-scale projects, with a goal to increase processing availability and variety for local and regional livestock producers.

  • The program is part of a larger, $1 billion commitment to expand independent meat and poultry processing capacity, giving farmers additional local options to obtain fairer prices for the animals they raise and providing consumers more options in the marketplace.
  • The program is administered by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) with funding from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan.

The first set of awards for simplified equipment projects will fund projects from $10,000 to $250,000 to purchase processing equipment such as meat grinders, stuffers, and smokers. Recipients of these grants, including Yoder’s Butcher Barn and Nordik Meats, are expected to increase their processing efficiency, create new jobs, and benefit local farmers.

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