The organisation’s 2019 Policy Priorities, launched at NCBA’s annual convention and trade show in New Orleans, US this week, comprises a mix of familiar and new issues for the beef industry.
Main issues that NCBA has prioritised include the ‘fake meat’ debate, trade & market access, dietary guidelines and regulatory reform & implementation.
After the NCBA argued for the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to have primary jurisdiction on meat alternatives, such as plant-based and cell-produced meat, the organisation said it would take steps to ensure that a regulatory framework was implemented for this year.
Meanwhile, with trade significantly affecting the US beef industry, the association added it would prioritise on promoting a bilateral trade agreement with Japan and expanding access in China, the UK and the European Union for beef.
With Dietary Guidelines being updated by the federal government every five years, NCBA said it would work to protect the scientific credibility of Dietary Guidelines and promote information about the nutritional advantages of beef as part of a balanced diet.
Finally, regulatory reforms over the past two years have been ramped up for beef producers, but NCBA said much more work needed to be done on additional relief and implementing recent reforms. This included full implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill and a permanent solution to overly restrictive Hours of Service rules for livestock hauliers.
NCBA president Kevin Kester said although it had made good progress, this was no time to “rest on its laurels”.
“There are many policy challenges still facing our producers, and these Policy Priorities will act as our roadmap over the coming year,” said Kester. “I’d encourage my fellow producers who are not yet members of NCBA to join us in the important battles ahead.”