FMI Offers August Workshops and Webinars to Help Retailers Comply With COOL Requirements

Beginning Sept. 30, 2008, the government will require country of origin labeling (COOL) for beef, chicken, goat meat, lamb, produce, peanuts, pecans, ginseng and macadamia nuts.

The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) will provide six workshops in August to help retailers, wholesalers and suppliers comply with the new rules.

FMI will hold three one-day regional workshops jointly with the American Meat Institute Foundation and United Fresh Produce Association. The workshops will feature legal experts from the three associations and USDA officials who helped write the rule. The morning session will cover meat; the afternoon session will cover produce. Dates and locations are:

August 12: Four Point Sheraton hotel in Baltimore August 13: Hyatt Regency O’Hare hotel in Chicago August 14: Wyndham hotel in San Jose, Calif.

FMI will follow up with three Webinars from 2-4 p.m. EST on Aug. 19, 20 and 21 exclusively for retailers and wholesalers. To learn more and register for the workshops and Webinars, visit www.fmi.org/events.

Industry education and outreach programs will be conducted by the USDA for six months before the new rule is enforced.

Some technical details in the interim final rule still need to be resolved. To gain clarification, FMI will file comments with USDA and meet with agency officials.