The news that PMA and United worked cooperatively to bring about a reasonably successful conclusion to the COOL debate brought warmth to the heart of even this one-time stalwart COOL opponent:
Kudos to United and PMA for a workable compromise solution to the COOL issue. No, I haven’t gone “soft” on COOL! What the proponents for COOL believe will happen in the marketplace versus the reality makes it a needless burden on the supply chain.
But with that said, it is clear that this Congress would absolutely impose some sort of COOL legislation. And the work that United and PMA did to propose a reasonable approach to an inevitable COOL legislative package deserves praise from the industry.
I was very critical, and sometimes vocal, of how this was approached during the first go-round. Frankly, I felt we had a real shot of enacting V-COOL, or even repealing COOL altogether. But that was highly unlikely in this Congress.
So for United and PMA to craft a compromise that made the best of a bad legislative initiative deserves commendation.
It’s great to see these two trade associations making a positive difference on the legislative front.
— Bruce Peterson
(Pundit Note: Bruce Peterson is the former Senior VP Perishables for Wal-Mart and has served as Chairman of the Produce Marketing Association. He is now working on a traceability project for the trade which you can read about right here.)
V-COOL refers to voluntary country-of-origin labeling, and important grower groups, such as the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association, switched support to V-COOL when the operational difficulties of COOL were pointed out.
To us the key factor is that this is all a colossal waste of time. As Bruce explains: What the proponents for COOL believe will happen in the marketplace versus the reality makes it a needless burden on the supply chain.
That, though, will play out over the years, for today, the Pundit joins Mr. Peterson in commending our associations for a job well done.