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Marketing Strategies for Farmers and Ranchers

Opportunities in Agriculture Bulletin

Direct Marketing Meat & Animal Products

Animal Product Labeling & Claims

Meat producers address consumer safety concerns through regulatory avenues as well as processing and inspection. Before launching a direct meat-selling venture, decide where and how you want to market. The type of processing and inspection you choose limits where the meat can be sold, dictating whether you can sell across state lines and whether direct to consumers or wholesale.

For more information about meat inspection and overall marketing regulations, see the Legal Guide for Direct Farm Marketing, developed in part with a SARE grant. To learn more about direct-marketing beef, from slaughtering to promoting and advertising, consult How to Direct Market Your Beef, published by SARE’s Sustainable Agriculture Network.

You may want to develop labels describing how you produce your meat, specifying your feeding, medication and other practices and/or where you farm or ranch. Check with USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) at www.fsis.usda.gov, (202) 205-0623 and the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service’s Livestock and Seed Program, www.ams.usda.gov/lsg, to create accurate, legal claims.

For organic labels, see USDA’s National Organic Program Website – www.ams.usda.gov/nop – or call (202) 690-0725 with questions. For regulations and information related to food safety in livestock products other than meat and eggs, such as milk pasteurization, visit the Food & Drug Agency’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition at www.cfsan.fda.gov.

To better address the needs of the small business community, including farmers and ranchers, FDA assigned its small business representatives (SBRs) to respond to questions such as how to find the FDA regulation(s) pertinent to your product. To find the SBR nearest you, visit www.fda.gov/ora/fed_state/Small_Business/sb_guide/smbusrep.html.

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