Legislation would create more direct-to-consumer options
June 30, 2020 By Meghan Grebner Filed Under: Beef, Human Interest, Livestock, News
New bipartisan legislation has been introduced in the House to
create direct-to-consumer options for beef producers, processors, and small
The DIRECT Act of 2020 would amend retail exemptions to
allow meat processed under state-inspected facilities to be sold across state
lines through e-commerce.
The food supply chain was disrupted during the early months
of the coronavirus pandemic when processing facilities were forced to slow and
shut down, creating a shortage of supplies at the grocery store. Consumers
were looking for other resources, including purchasing direct, to meet their
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association president Marty Smith says the organization supports the legislation because it makes it easier for American cattle producers to meet the growing demand of consumers to purchase safe and delicious beef.
Some states currently have programs approved by the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service that have “at least equal to” standards, but products can only be sold interstate if approved under the Cooperate Interstate Shipping Program.
The Direct Interstate Retail Exemption for Certain
Transactions (DIRECT) Act of 2020 was introduced by Representatives Dusty
Johnson (R, South Dakota) and Henry Cuellar (D, Texas).
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