Federal regulation is a necessary part of any meat or poultry processor that wants to sell products outside of its home state. Both sides have the same goal in mind — produce the safest food for the American public. Disagreements on how to accomplish that do occur, typically to the detriment of the processor — particularly the small processor. Changes or extra paperwork that may be seen as bothersome to a larger company can be back-breaking to a small one.
There have been some successes. FSIS has reached out to small and very small plants with additional resources that are intended to help with HACCP programs, answer technical questions and explain FSIS policies in clear terms. Additionally, the American Association of Meat Processors has become an important voice in Washington. AAMP executives and officers have made several trips to meet with FSIS officials and relay their concerns. The small processor is being heard now, more than it has in the past.