Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig announced today that Story City Locker is the first Iowa meat processing facility to be admitted into the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) Cooperative Interstate Shipment (CIS) program, according to a Department of Agriculture release. Under the CIS program, smaller, state-inspected facilities can remain under state inspection but are allowed to apply a federal-style mark of inspection and sell products across state lines.
In 2019, members of the Iowa Meat Processors Association asked the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship about implementing the CIS program to help smaller facilities grow their businesses. It also helps producers get their products into regional grocery stores, the release says.
“Local meat lockers play an important role in their communities and the food supply chain,” said Secretary Naig in the release. “We pursued the CIS program to help small Iowa businesses grow and give consumers more access to Iowa-grown meat and poultry products.
“This is a great program for Iowa's small meat processors and their communities. We are proud to be the first facility to go live,” said Ty Gustafson, owner of the Story City Locker in the release. “Special thanks to the Meat and Poultry Bureau team for being willing to take this on to expand opportunities for small businesses. A great example of regulatory staff working with businesses to find a solution.”
The department worked with the Iowa Meat Processors Association and USDA FSIS for nearly a year to make sure the state met all of the CIS program requirements. It made administrative rule changes, invested in new equipment and provided training for its Meat and Poultry Bureau inspectors to make sure Iowa producers had the opportunity to expand in to new markets, the release says.