Agreement Could Boost Meat Producers

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The Indiana State Board of Animal Health has joined a federal program allowing state-inspected meat and poultry to be shipped outside Indiana. The agency says the Cooperative Interstate Shipment Agreement program will be especially beneficial to small businesses looking to expand into new markets.

April 8, 2014

News Release

Indianapolis, Ind. -- Owners of state-inspected meat and poultry plants now have the opportunity to expand their markets to customers across state lines. Today, the Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH) signed an agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to join the Cooperative Interstate Shipment Agreement (CIS) program.

Under CIS, approved meat plants may ship products outside of Indiana. Although federal law requires all state-inspected plants to be "equal to" federal standards in product safety and inspection standards, prior to CIS, state-inspected products could be sold only within the state where they were produced.

"The Cooperative Interstate Shipping program presents a great opportunity for small businesses to expand into new markets," said David Bough, Director of BOAH's Meat & Poultry Inspection Division. He is excited to be welcoming CIS into Indiana. "This eliminates barriers to plants selling products into Cincinnati, Louisville, Chicago and beyond," Bough said.

Businesses that will benefit most are generally small, family-owned operations, like Pierceton Foods, that produce custom, specialty products. Owner Jeremy Wagoner, Pierceton, Ind., produces and sells a breaded pork tenderloin and a breaded cheeseburger under the "Paul's" label. He hopes to transfer the regional success of the Paul's label to markets in Michigan and Ohio.

The Cooperative Interstate Shipment program was established by the 2008 Farm Bill and finalized in 2011 by the USDA. Indiana is the fourth state (including Ohio, Wisconsin and North Dakota) to enter the CIS program. BOAH oversees daily inspection of products and facilities in 79 state-inspected plants, along with 40 custom-exempt facilities.

More information about BOAH, CIS and state meat inspection is online at www.boah.in.gov.

Source: Indiana State Board of Animal Health