WASHINGTON (May 10, 2023) – Today, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) reiterated support for the Direct Interstate Retail Exemption for Certain Transactions (DIRECT) Act, introduced by Sens. Roger Marshall (R-KS) and Peter Welch (D-VT), to expand marketing opportunities for smaller meat processors.
“American consumers are buying beef in new ways, whether it is directly from local farms and ranches or online through e-commerce,” said NCBA President-Elect Mark Eisele, a Wyoming cattle producer. “The DIRECT Act allows smaller processors to sell beef in different and innovative ways, supporting cattle producers while also ensuring the safety of our product. NCBA is proud to support the DIRECT Act, and we thank Sens. Marshall and Welch for their efforts to strengthen the cattle and beef industry.”
The DIRECT Act would allow state-inspected meat processors to sell beef across state lines, in limited quantities and through e-commerce, direct to consumers. Many of these marketing methods increased in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic and consumers have recognized the convenience of buying local beef online. Most importantly, the DIRECT Act protects food safety by ensuring a paper trail exists for tracing and containing potential food safety issues.