Korea and ID

Following the imposition of a beef tracing system for domestically produced beef that became effective June 22, South Korea says it intends to impose a beef tracing system on imported beef, effective Dec. 21, 2010.

Full details aren't yet public, but the requirements for domestic animals require all cattle to have proper ID and be tagged and registered with a central data system to be eligible for slaughter. The goal is to track beef from the consumer to the cattle's place of birth.

Traceability requirements for imported beef were postponed, says Jung Ho Lee, South Korea's ag minister, until the 2010 date to allow the domestic system time to work out its own start-up problems and begin running smoothly, according to Meat Trade News Daily.

Canada traceability

Canada's government is investing $20 million to build a vital link in the traceability chain that tracks Canadian livestock from retail to ranch. Canada's Livestock Auction Traceability Initiative is aimed at upgrading handling systems in facilities to keep track of individual animals as they're commingled in production or commerce. Funding comes from the $500-million Agricultural Flexibility Fund, announced as part of the Economic Action Plan to help the sector adapt to pressures and improve its competitiveness.

Livestock indemnity

Eligible ranchers can now apply for benefits under the provisions of the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) in the 2008 Farm Bill. Administered by USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA), the LIP compensates livestock owners and contract growers for livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality due to adverse weather, including losses due to hurricanes, floods, blizzards, disease, wildfires, extreme heat and extreme cold. Eligible losses must have occurred on or after Jan. 1, 2008, through Oct. 1, 2011.

To learn more, visit your local FSA office or www.fsa.usda.gov.

Meaty clout

A study supported by the American Meat Institute, “The Meat and Poultry Industry Economic Impact Study,” finds the U.S. meat and poultry packing and processing industries (including meat distribution and retailing) contribute $832 billion to the U.S. economy, or 5.8% of gross domestic product. The industry directly employs 1.8 million people, pays out $45.5 billion in wages and benefits, and provides more than $81.2 billion in revenue to federal, state and local governments in traditional direct taxes. In addition, consumption of meat and poultry in the U.S. generates $2.4 billion in state sales taxes. See the results at www.meatfuelsamerica.com/.

Taiwan opening

Taiwan and the U.S. are in final negotiations on a full opening of the Taiwanese market to U.S. beef, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Harry Tseng, director-general of MOFA's Department of North American Affairs, says he's optimistic the issue can be resolved this year. The U.S. currently supplies 32% of Taiwan's beef, but only boneless beef from cattle younger than 30 months of age is eligible for import.