Ask Ruth: Direct Beef Sales in Illinois

Cari Rincker Food & Ag Law Leave a Comment

There are two major considerations when selling beef in Illinois direct to the consumer.

The first thing farmers should consider is how they want to sell their beef. Do you want to sell a percentage of the live animal, a percentage of processed beef, or an individual cut of beef?

Depending on how you wish to sell your beef will determine the type of facility that must be used to process your beef.

The most common form of direct-to-consumer beef sales in Illinois involves the selling a percentage of a live animal. Selling of a live animal allows you the farmer to use a “custom-exempt” facility which is exempt from federal and state inspections. The one caveat to using a custom-exempt facility is that beef processed by a custom-exempt facility may only be used for family consumption and cannot be sold or donated to someone else.

If you are looking to sell a percentage of processed beef or individual cuts of beef, that beef must be processed by either a federally or state inspected facility (depending on where that beef will be sold) and can require state specific permits and additional insurance considerations.

An attorney experienced in direct beef sales can help farmers in drafting custom processing agreements and advise farmers on additional requirements including labeling requirements and liability and insurance considerations.

To schedule a consultation, please contact or call (217) 531-2179.

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