Southwest Meat Association (SMA) is a leading meat and poultry trade organization representing packers and processors all over the United States. SMA is an organization created to make a difference for its members by initiating opportunities, resolving problems, and thus helping our member companies to earn a reasonable return on their investment.
HACCP Training & Consulting
New Vaccine Mandates From Biden Administration Webinar
President Biden has announced an imminent Emergency Temporary Standard from OSHA that will require all employers with more than 100 employees to mandate COVID-19 vaccination or weekly testing. Similar rules have been announced for federal contractors and health care facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding. Register here.
This webinar will cover the latest information on these requirements, including:
- Latest details on the OSHA standard and timeline for employer compliance
- Questions and answers on weekly testing option, including potential legal claims for reimbursement of test expense and testing time
- Update on anticipated legal challenges to Biden administration vaccine mandates
SMA Collaborates With Four Trade Organizations To Publish A New Foreign Material Manual
Published September 14, 2021, Southwest Meat Association along with four other meat and poultry trade associations assisted in publishing The Meat and Poultry Industry Foreign Material Manual: Considerations for Designing a Foreign Material Control & Prevention Program, which aims to help establishments reduce the occurrence of foreign material in meat and poultry products. View here.
What Federal Contractors Need To Know About The Biden Administration’s Vaccine Mandate
On September 9, 2021, President Biden announced an executive order (EO) that expands upon the administration’s goals of requiring both federal employees and contractors and subcontractors working in connection with federal contracts to receive a vaccine against COVID-19. The new requirements are much more aggressive than the administration’s safety protocols previously issued on July 29, which only required verification of vaccination status or testing for government employees and onsite contractors. Read more.
76 Agricultural Groups Call The White House For Export Help
The Meat import Council of America and the National Pork Producers Council are among 76 agricultural groups calling on the White House to address increasing costs and delays in transporting goods overseas. Read more.
Elaine Trevino Nominated As Chief Ag Negotiator In The Office Of U.S. Trade Representative
After months of calls from agricultural groups, President Joe Biden officially nominated Elaine Trevino as the chief agricultural negotiator in the Office of the United States Trade Representative. Trevino’s nomination quickly drew praise for her roots in agriculture and career experiences. Read more.
USDA Announces $700 Million to Support Meat Workers with COVID Costs
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on Sept. 7 that it plans to invest $700 million in competitive grant funding that will be available in its new Farm and Food Workers Relief (FFWR) program. The agency said it was designed to help farm and meatpacking workers with pandemic-related health and safety costs. Read more.
FSIS Reductions to the Cost of Overtime Fees
As part of the American Rescue Plan Act, which was signed into law on March 11, 2021, FSIS received $100 million to reduce the cost of overtime and holiday inspection fees for small and very small plants. The fee reductions are retroactive to October 11, 2020 for establishments who apply and are approved by March 14, 2022. The reduced rates will be offered through fiscal year 2030, or until all funds are expended.
On July 15, FSIS published Federal Register notice 2021-15011 that provides background information and details concerning how the agency will be reducing fees for small and very small plants. Eligible establishments can fill out the Overtime/Holiday Rate Reduction Form and send it to their appropriate district office. When establishments are approved to receive the rate reduction, credits will be issued on the following month’s account statement for fees charged back to October 11, 2020.
When credits are issued on the account statements, establishments can choose to have the credits applied to future billings or request a refund. If establishments choose to leave the credits on their accounts, no action is required. Accounts will automatically deduct the current charges shown on future account statements from the account balance reflected as the total amount due. If an establishment would like a refund, it should call 515-334-2000 and press option 1, or email FSIS.Billing@usda.gov to make an official request for refund. Establishments can also request receiving their account statements via email by using the phone number or email address above. These instructions are also included with the monthly account statements.
National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection (NACMPI) Public Meeting
The National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection (NACMPI) will meet virtually on September 27 and 28, 2021, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST each day. Read more
USDA Seeks Comments on Labeling Meat and Poultry Products Derived from Animal Cells
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is publishing this advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) to request comments pertaining to the labeling of meat and poultry products comprised of or containing cultured cells derived from animals subject to the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA; 21 U.S.C. 601 et. seq.) or the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA; 21 U.S.C. 451 et seq.). Read more