The agreement will help meat and poultry processors sell products across state lines
By Diego Flammini
Some meat and poultry processors in Iowa are closer to being able to sell products in other states.
State Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig signed a Cooperative Interstate Shipment (CIS) agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service on Wednesday.
Iowa’s Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship originally applied for entry into the program in June 2019.
Under the CIS, state-inspected plants can operate as federally inspected facilities under certain conditions and can ship products to other states. Without participation in the program, plants can only sell their products within their home state.
State-inspected meat and poultry processors in Iowa can now apply for admission into the program.
To qualify, a processor must have fewer than 25 full-time employees and comply with all federal safety and sanitary protocols.
Individual producers aren’t eligible for the program but can sell their products across state lines if they are processed at a CIS facility.
Iowa joins Indiana, Maine, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio and Wisconsin as the only states in the country participating in the CIS program. Ohio was the first state to join the program in August 2012.
As stories of meat shortages across the country emerge, providing farmers and processors the opportunity to help meet those demands is important, Secretary Naig said.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the important role that local community meat lockers play in the food supply chain,” he said in a statement. “I am excited for these meat processors to have the opportunity to grow their businesses, move more products and access new markets. It also gives consumers more access to Iowa-raised and -processed meat.”
Farms.com has reached out to Iowa’s ag community for comment.