A newly introduced bipartisan bill in Congress takes important steps to address urgent bottlenecks in meat and poultry processing for independent small and organic livestock producers. The Strengthening Local Processing Act (S.354/H.R. 945) will expand meat processing and slaughter capacity by providing
- grants to upgrade, expand, or build meat processing infrastructure and obtain state or federal inspection status;
- grants for meat processing workforce training, including directly funding processors to conduct on-the-job training;
- technical assistance for food safety at processing plants, including a library of scale-appropriate Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) plans to support processors in complying with regulatory requirements; and
- incentives for state-inspected meat and poultry processing programs to participate in the Cooperative Interstate Shipment program, which allows state-inspected meat products to be sold over state lines and expands market opportunities for producers and processors.
CCOF and our partners have been working diligently for the past two years to ensure the Strengthening Local Processing Act reflects the needs of small and organic ranchers and the meat processors who serve our community.
We are taking steps now to ensure the Strengthening Local Processing Act builds as much support as possible in Congress. We invite all CCOF members and supporters to show your support by adding your name to this letter and helping us spread the word!
For more information on the Strengthening Local Processing Act, read this short paper.
Please reach out to Laetitia Benador at Lbenador@ccof.org with any questions!