SEATTLE — PCC Natural Markets here has announced it will voluntarily become 100% country-of-origin labeling compliant with all of its meat, seafood, peanuts and fresh produce by the end of August.
“We believe that our customers deserve to know where their food products come from — especially given the recent upset over where food comes from and [how that can relate to] food safety,” said PCC spokeswoman Diana Crane.
PCC has had all of its meat, peanuts and fresh produce labeled for country of origin for a while now, Crane told SN, the only exception being Oregon Country Beef, one of PCC's meat suppliers, which recently changed its name to Country National Beef, taking the state out of the label. At PCC's request, the company has now agreed to reprint its labels to indicate “Product of the U.S.A.”
Delay of mandatory COOL requirements has been attributed to complaints from importers, packers, processors and large retailers, who argue that the record-keeping and labor involved in compliance would be too costly.
However, Paul Schmidt, director of merchandising for PCC, said in a company statement that becoming 100% COOL-compliant has not increased costs or imposed any undue burdens on the eight-store natural and organic food cooperative.
“This is something that PCC has supported for many, many years,” said Crane.
“It's out of the House, moving onto the Senate, and we hope that now mandatory COOL will be implemented across the country.”