San Mateo County Supervisor Urges President To End Meat “Pricing” And Help Small Farmers – CBS San Francisco

PACIFICA (BCN) – Soaring meat prices are hitting Bay Area residents in their wallets and a San Mateo County supervisor on Saturday asked President Biden to help small local butchers and stop the alleged “price fixing” by the big packers of meat in the hope of lowering prices.

“I urge (President Joe Biden) to level the playing field by stimulating small meat producers and combating what his administration calls ‘illegal price fixing'” by the big meat packers, “the Minister said. San Mateo County Supervisory Board Chairman David Canepa at a press conference. press conference at Save More Meats in Pacifica.

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Canepa also said it encourages consumers to visit local butcher shops, which may have lower prices as many sell more locally sourced meat.

Between May and June 2021, the price of beef rose 4.5% nationally, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Beef prices have risen 14% since 2020, according to key Biden associates in a White House blog post on Wednesday. Pork increased 12.1 percent and poultry 6.6 percent during this period. “Together, these three items represent half of the price increases (in grocery stores) since December 2020,” Biden assistants said.

Four companies control much of the US meat processing market, and the wizards blamed those companies – JBS, Tyson Foods, National Beef Packing Company, and Cargill Meat Solutions Corp. – for the rise in food prices.

Rib-eye steak is $ 24.99 a pound at Safeway on Webster Street in San Francisco. It’s $ 19.99 a pound at Save More Meats, a family-owned business in Pacifica.

“We have regular customers who have been coming here for 20 years or more. They’re like family, ”said Matthew Lee, store owner with his brother Kevin. They both live in Pacifica and have served friends and neighbors at the store since 1985.

Save More Meats buys its meat from Harris Ranch, a cattle finishing facility based in Selma, California. Canepa wants the president to give stimulus money to vendors like Harris.

“The administration would be able to give them an influx of capital and that capital could be used for investments – the purchase of more livestock, more equipment – so that they in turn could gain market share. additional, ”Canepa said.

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“It gives them the opportunity to potentially compete on a larger scale, so we don’t just depend on those four, Tyson, Cargill and the other two beef producers. This gives (to producers like Harris) the potential to compete with the hope of being able to lower the price of beef, ”Canepa said.

As part of a package of initiatives, the administration will invest $ 1.4 billion in COVID-19 pandemic stimulus funds for small-scale meat producers and workers, administrative assistants said in the blog. Canepa said he wanted the administration to “double”.

Tyson Foods released a statement on Wednesday categorically rejecting what the company called White House findings. The statement was made in response to a White House press briefing Wednesday by the Secretary of Agriculture and the Director of the National Economic Council during a White House press briefing.

Tyson noted that the US Department of Agriculture recently released a report detailing the drivers of consumer inflation in the food sector, none of which, Tyson said, are related to consolidation or scale. Of the industry.

The increase in beef prices is due to unprecedented market conditions, Tyson said.

“Multiple unprecedented market shocks, including a global pandemic and extreme weather conditions, have resulted in an unexpected and drastic drop in the ability of meat processors to operate at full capacity,” Tyson said.

“This led to an oversupply of live cattle and an insufficient supply of beef, while the demand for beef products was at an all time high. So the price of cattle has gone down, while the price of beef has gone up. Today the prices paid to cattle producers are increasing, ”Tyson said.

Labor shortages are also affecting the country’s beef, pork and poultry supplies, Tyson said.

Calls and emails to JBS and National Beef Packing Company were not immediately returned. The remaining company, Cargill Meat Solutions Corp., did not comment.

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Rene M. Ladner

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