COOL - Its about Commodity Mentality vs. Quality Mentality

February 20, 2003

By H. Clay Daulton

Madera, CA

California television advertisements for Cheese and Chicken are very California-based.

Foster farms has several cute ads with a couple of veterinarians poking a couple of chickens, arguing whether a chicken is from Arkansas or California and finally proving one is an Arkansas fake.

The California cheese ads have been hilarious, showing California cows in green pastures with a little grand-calf causing Grandma Cow to remember a horrible blizzard in the state where she was born -- and then one little calf says to the other: "I told you not to ask grandma where she was from."

The point of this is: Country Of Origin Labeling -- COOL -- is important, d _ _ ned important -- unless you are an industry intent on selling a commodity instead of a quality or identifiable product.

California cheese producers and California's Foster Farms certainly think so, because they are spending millions proving state of origin to California consumers.

Don't let the commodity price mark-up boys dictate ag policy or we will all be eating Brazilian beef without knowing it -- or being able to find out.