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COOL and Canada: What will US Consumers Choose?

21 November 2008

CANADA - US based food companies are unsure about the impact that COOL (Country of Origin Labelling) will have on their operations, and some Canadian food industry pundits are responding with anxiety.

Rather than fear COOL, Canadian producers must look for the opportunities it holds forth, writes Sylvain Charlebois for the Financial Post.

According to the news agency, this new regulation, which went into effect on October 1 received little press because of the recent Canadian and US elections. However, the main requirement is labels that identify the country of origin on certain foods, such as pork, beef, produce and nuts, when sold in retail establishments.

A primary concern for both countries is that US consumers - out of concern for their national economy and being safety-conscious, will opt against Canadian products. This month, the Canadian Cattlemen's Association and the Canadian Pork Council called on the federal government to challenge US laws under the North American Free Trade Agreement and World Trade Organization rules.

COOL is just one of the many hindrances Canadian producers have been facing lately. Since the BSE episode that started in May, 2003, the US government has implemented more and more restrictions in an effort to ensure food safety. The soaring Canadian dollar, which hovered for months near parity with the US dollar, and an increase of input costs have had lasting effects on producer confidence and international trade.

Further Reading

- Find out more about COOL by clicking here.

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