Bill would support livestock producers by creating an exemption in cross-state line sales

A bill has been introduced into the Senate that would provide flexibility for interstate commerce sales for livestock producers.

Aaron Popelka, vice president of legal and governmental affairs with the Kansas Livestock Association says the legislation creates an exemption for small producers and butchers to sell meat via ecommerce. “Currently, laws do not allow state inspected meat products to be sold outside of the state where the meat is inspected in. This would allow if you’re selling it over the Internet for certain smaller quantities to be sold across state line.”

The Direct Interstate Retail Exemption for Certain Transaction Act (DIRECT) creates an exemption to allow small producers and butchers more flexibility for interstate sales without compromising food safety or jeopardizing international trade market access.

Popelka tells Brownfield the COVID-19 pandemic created demand for direct-to-consumer sales and the bill helps add value to that market. “This really, I think, allows producers to meet that need and grow their markets beyond just the state of Kansas because we raise a lot of beef here, but we don’t have as many consumers. And so, I think this is a great avenue to help producers grow some of those more niche markets.”

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says the bill would allow processors to sell beef in innovative ways, support producers while ensuring safety of the product.

American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duval says the act will provide consumers with diverse set of options to buy meat and creates new opportunities to reach customers.

The bipartisan legislation was also introduced by Senators Roger Marshall (R-KS) and Peter Welch (D-VT).

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