February 25, 2022 | Montpelier, VT – The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) announces the selection of Brault's Market of Troy in the Northeast Kingdom as the second Vermont meat processing establishment in Vermont to participate in the Cooperative Interstate Shipment (CIS) Program, allowing the small business to process product locally and ship to consumers outside of Vermont’s borders.
The 2008 Farm Bill created the CIS program, an agreement between USDA Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) and participating state meat inspection programs, to allow selected state-inspected meat and poultry processors to ship their products across state lines without a federal grant of inspection. The first Vermont business to join the CIS program was Sherpa Foods of Burlington in March of last year.
“Vermont participation in the CIS program provides an opportunity for our state’s small meat and poultry processing businesses to increase their business and expand their available markets beyond Vermont’s borders,” said Vermont Agriculture Secretary Anson Tebbetts. “I want to congratulate Brault’s Market for their hard work to achieve acceptance into the CIS program, and also Sherpa Foods for a successful first year of growth within the program.”
The CIS program is limited to plants located in the 27 states that have an established Meat and Poultry Inspection Program (MPI) that ensures state plant inspections follow the same guidelines as USDA FSIS inspections for official federal establishments. Prior to the CIS agreement, any food meat or poultry product processed in Vermont could only be sold in state, due to federal restrictions on meat and poultry processing, limiting the markets for these products. Brault’s Market becomes the first Vermont slaughterhouse to join the CIS program. Brault’s offers both commercial and custom meat processing, and can now offer their products to customers beyond Vermont’s borders.
“We are thrilled to have Tony and Kathy at Brault’s successfully join the CIS program,” said Julie Boisvert, VAAFM’s Meat Program Section Chief. “This program is a powerful tool in assisting our Vermont meat and slaughter businesses take the important next steps to grow business opportunities that benefit them and our local farmers.”
To reinforce the potential impact of the CIS Program, Sherpa Foods relayed that the program was a tremendous boost, enabling the company to pick up distributors delivering their ready to eat Momo's (Nepalese Dumplings) to New Hampshire, Southern Massachusetts and parts of Rhode Island. Sales have increased 40% over this time last year with the company looking to grow more in the near future.
Brault’s Market and Slaughterhouse is a 4th generation, family run business owned by Tony Brault and Kathy Couture, and has been under state-inspection since 1989. Brault’s has been working with over 700 Vermont farmers to process locally raised meats to market their product.
For more information on the CIS program, please visit: https://agriculture.vermont.gov/food-safety/vermont-meat-poultry-inspection/cooperative-interstate-shipment-program.