Meat prices up, optimism about fixing the problem is down

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(NewsNation Now) — The price of meat is up across the board from a year ago, and industry experts are not optimistic about what might be able to bring it back down.

At the heart of the problem are the same logistical challenges facing many industries as the world recovers from the pandemic. Labor shortages abound, supply is unable to meet demand and even getting products from place to place is a challenge.

“I don’t see any way out of this because the price of fertilizer and the price of corn and soybeans are still going up,” former labor lawyer Rick Berman said on NewsNation’s “On Balance With Leland Vittert.”

Price per pound of meat in the U.S. Source: Daily Mail

Berman said a drought in the West is also setting off a chain reaction of industry-specific challenges. A drought means less to graze for cows, and more demand for food, which increases the cost.

“What you really got here are cattle that are coming to market about 15% smaller than they have been in the past,” Berman said.

It’s affecting shoppers at stores around the country, but they’re still paying the prices, Barbara Eastman said. She owns Happy Foods Grocery Store in Chicago.

“We all get fuel charges tacked on to every bill, and that goes to the consumer,” she said on “On Balance” Tuesday. “(Customers) are making probably smaller choices as far as they’re not buying a bigger steak or anything like that.”

The Biden administration has touted the recently passed bipartisan infrastructure bill as a source of solutions to logistics challenges nationwide, but there is likely no quick fix.

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