Saskatchewan Examiner

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Ranchers in Saskatchewan demand an investigation into beef and cattle pricing

Saskatchewan ranchers demand a review into meat and cattle prices.

Key Takeaways:

  • The federal and provincial governments are urged by the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association to investigate the beef and cattle markets.
  • According to Statistics Canada, the price of food grew by 8.8% from May 2021, with the price of meat alone increasing by 11.2% annually.

As worries about a widening price disparity increase, the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association requests that the federal and provincial governments look into the markets for cattle and beef.

Garner Deobald, a rancher in the vicinity of Hodgeville and also the president of the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association, stated on Thursday that “profitability has gone away to the point right where now so many of us are up against it.”

Due to what he claims to be an “imbalance” in the cattle and beef pricing markets, which has been rising recently and was further aggravated since the pandemic, Deobald wants to know where the money in the beef sector is going.

He is aware of the price at which he sells his cattle and the price per pound of ground beef at the supermarket, but his calculations are flawed as he and many of his peers prepare for another challenging year with little to no profits.

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Deobald stated, “We know there is a significant gap between that and that, and I think it is fair and appropriate to ask for an investigation merely to understand where the money, or the profits, are ending up at this point.

Deobald wants to know who is responsible, whether the stores, the slaughterhouses or other points along the supply chain.

Statistics Canada reports that the cost of food increased by 8.8% from May 2021, with the price of meat alone rising by 11.2% yearly.

The association claimed in a news release on Tuesday that retailers and slaughterhouses are making significant profits. Still, the Retail Council of Canada claims that any evidence they’ve seen is contrary.

According to a recent retail council study of Ontario Beef and Cattle Pricing, between 2016 and 2021, the farmer share of the retail beef value decreased from 41% to 39% over that time, while the retailer share of the beef value decreased from 8% to 2% as the packer share increased from 51 to 59 percent.

Saskatchewan ranchers demand a review into meat and cattle prices.
Saskatchewan ranchers demand a review into meat and cattle prices. Image from The Star

“Retailers have not entirely passed along the additional costs for beef cutouts. Instead, for the past two years at least, retailers’ margins on beef have likely decreased. “In the study, there was a comment.

According to Deobald, fewer beef products are available on the shelves because meat packers in the United States aren’t scheduling more shifts to match the demand at the grocery store. As feed supplies grow, cattle prices decline while retail prices remain high.

Depleted grasslands from the previous year’s drought, together with rising fertilizer and fuel prices that have in some cases doubled, have only increased ranchers’ worries about long-term viability as more may decide to exit the industry completely.

“This fall, several producers will leave the industry, and the number of cows will drop. I am confident about that.

Source: CTV News

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