Butchers and farmers feeling the grind of spiking meat prices

North Carolina

LEXINGTON, N.C. (WGHP) — The meat industry is feeling the price hike while trying not to let it affect their customers’ grocery prices.

Local butcher Oliver Lark at Conrad & Hinkle Food Market in Lexington said the price hike is sadly becoming a trickle-down effect to customers.

Lark said with the low workforce in manufacturing and the jump in gas prices, it sped the price increase of some meat cuts like New York Strip and ribeye, but they are trying not to let it affect their customers’ price tags as much as possible.

“They’re having a hard time just getting the workforce back in place to manufacture everything they need to produce. Fuel prices are going up, I mean, [it’s] just a litany of factors that play into it. We’re trying to kind of dollar-cost everything across the board that way nothing spikes too much,” said Lark.

Conrad & Hinkle Food Market get some of their pork products from Jerry Foster’s Farm Fresh Pork, who said the high cost of grain and feed is a driving factor for a spike in hog costs.

Jerry Foster has been supplying fresh pork products throughout the Piedmont for 50 years and hasn’t changed his prices since 2014… until now.

Foster said at the height of the coronavirus pandemic his customer base doubled. But now he’s losing customers because of the recent rise in meat prices. 

Foster has had to increase pork product prices to continue to provide for his family and still cater to customers.

“It’s really bothering me a lot, I didn’t want to have to raise my prices, but it’s something I had to do,” said Foster.

Both Lark and Foster said they are unsure when and if the meat price increase will drop soon, but both are hoping soon than later.

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