As A Food Manufacturer, Are You For Or Against The COOL Rule?

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As A Food Manufacturer, Are You For Or Against The COOL Rule?

The COOL (country-of-origin-labeling) rule set forth by the USDA is a rule that isn't so popular with meat industry groups. In fact, eight of these groups sued the USDA just last month, arguing that the costs involved outweigh the benefits. As a trusted supplier of industrial traceability solutions around the globe, we understand manufacturers' concerns - but we also know what consumers demand today. Transparency. Actually, the COOL rule is a good thing, and could help both manufacturers and retailers potentially save millions - not to mention their reputations - should a food crisis take place. We understand that manufacturers are just like every other company, desiring to simplify and streamline their processes while keeping costs down as much as possible. However, when you ignore putting a reliable traceability system in place, you put not only your company at risk, but consumers as well. According to the CDC, one of every six Americans becomes ill every year due to foodborne diseases. The COOL rule will cost manufacturers, suppliers, and retailers about $192 million to implement according to USDA estimates. We know that sounds enormous, but when compared to the $77 billion foodborne illnesses cost each year, $192 million is a small price to pay. Considering the potential damage to manufacturers' brand equity and possible legal fees involved if consumers should file suit after becoming ill, perhaps implementing a reliable traceability system isn't such a bad (or costly) idea after all. According to a 2013 study conducted by The Regeneration Roadmap, 86% of consumers agreed that "ingredient transparency is extremely important or very important," an issue that companies must address. Consumers demand to know what ingredients are in the foods they purchase, whether those ingredients are natural - and now, they want to know where the foods they purchase come from. Country-of-origin-labeling is the logical next step if you want to avoid potentially costly repercussions. Markem-Imaje offers high quality, reliable, and cost-effective industrial traceability systems along with coding and marking solutions for manufacturers across a wide array of industries.

January 10, 2014
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