Vermont State-Inspected Meat Processing Businesses Can Now Access Out-of-State Markets
March 17, 2021 | Montpelier, VT – The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) is excited to announce the selection of Sherpa Foods LLC, of Burlington as the first food processing establishment in Vermont to participate in the Cooperative Interstate Shipment (CIS) Program, allowing them to locally process and ship its products outside of Vermont. 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.
“This initiative allows Vermont processors to expand their markets and enhance Vermont’s brand,” said Governor Phil Scott. “I want to congratulate Sherpa Foods on their selection and thank the Agency of Agriculture and our partners at USDA for their work.”
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.
“Vermont entered into the CIS program with the USDA FSIS to increase the business opportunities for the state’s small meat and poultry processors, and expand available markets beyond Vermont’s borders,” said Vermont Agriculture Secretary Anson Tebbetts. “Distributing these Vermont products on a regional and national level creates new opportunities for Vermont’s agricultural producers and ultimately boosts our state’s economy.”
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. With Sherpa Foods, LLC initiating the Vermont participation in this program, VAAFM encourages other Vermont food enterprises to explore this opportunity to expand its marketplace beyond our state.
Founded in 2015, Sherpa Foods, LLC is a Burlington, Vermont based family food supply business that produces and supplies authentic traditional Nepalese foods to various state co-ops, health food stores and supermarkets. It was founded with the mission of bringing a traditional Nepalese menu to its customers with items that are made locally, and with the freshest local natural ingredients.
For more information on the CIS program, please visit: https://agriculture.vermont.gov/food-safety/vermont-meat-poultry-inspection/cooperative-interstate-shipment-program
To visit Sherpa Foods LLC and view their Vermont made products, please visit: www.sherpafoodsusa.com
Program contact: Katherine McNamara, DVM | she/her
Assistant State Veterinarian | Deputy Director FSCP