Monday, November 16, 2009

A Local Take on Supply and Demand

The demand for grass-fed meat, poultry and dairy products is growing daily; unfortunately, supply sometimes cannot keep up.

It’s not that there aren’t enough small farmers raising quality cattle, pigs, chickens and turkeys. Instead, the number (or lack thereof) of slaughterhouses is to blame.

United States Department of Agriculture certification is necessary for slaughterhouses, so operating one isn’t as simple as writing a blog. The red tape involved invariably prevents new, smaller slaughterhouses from opening, which in turn forces the small farmers to spend more time and money travelling to have their products processed into retail-friendly cuts.

Farmers at greenmarkets in New York City tell me about the challenges they face in this realm. For local flavor about the issue, click here to read an article published this summer in The Register-Star, a newspaper in Columbia County, NY.

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