With meat prices rising again, grocery chain buys direct from producers
NY grocery store Stew Leonard's buys direct from producers to fight rising prices
Meat prices are rising again, and the head meat buyer for Stew Leonard's Supermarket in New York says the pandemic is to blame.
"The last three to four weeks, COVID really reared again, and prices are starting to creep up again. They’re about 20 cents to 50 cents higher than they really should be right now, per pound," Mike Derivan says.
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Texas rancher Ray Law says it’s because of labor shortages, pricier fuel to transport meat, and higher costs to run ranches and farms.
"Feed costs have gone up about 30% in the last two years," Law said.
Now, a New York supermarket owner and cattle rancher in Texas agree there’s a way to cut meat costs by cutting out the middlemen.
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"What we’ve been able to do, is we buy direct from the farm, ranchers and producers," Stew Leonard Jr. said. "The demand is still there. People are still eating."
This method of buying meat helps both the producer and consumer.
"When COVID really started hitting, my sales at least doubled," Law said.
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But it could change the producer-consumer chain long term. On Monday, the Biden administration announced it will pledge $1 billion to help the meat processing industry with labor shortage issues and provide better prices for consumers.