Thursday, May 24, 2012

Nose-To-Tail Retail Marketing & Pricing Realities

For those of you who also buy meat at the grocery store- we need not remind you that meat prices are WAY UP across the board! RECORD prices in fact. The recession has taken the wind out of domestic consumption and with droughts in the south and west, cattle supplies have dried up. Simple supply and demand. Also, commodity prices for common feed-stocks for livestock feed have been volatile and trending higher still. Developing countries are developing a taste for beef, while they don't have the infrastructure to supply it- hello export market demand!

We're a local producer, but nevertheless not insulated from the price swings in the market as we buy select feeder stock that is becoming pretty near and dear in the marketplace. We buy locally, but those prices are pegged to what the wider market is bearing- and why not? Farmers have had to munch on dry stale toast for years and what a chance to pay down debt, why not?! For the last 30+ years I've seen feeder prices hovering in the $0.50- $0.80/lb range for feeder cattle...that is until recently. Can you say ouch to a doubling to tripling of these prices!!! Our new prices have to reflect this reality.

How can we help you keep clean, local meat in your menus? Our imminently due price list update includes a modest adjustment to our lower end cuts while putting a premium on our higher end steaks- in keeping with our philosophy of acknowledging the reality of supply and demand (a mere 10-12% of the animal is premium steak), but we should be casting our imagination and menus toward the cornucopia of great tasting, lower end cuts. Those lower cuts have been relegated to the back burner for years during the booming years of only a few years ago. But alas- a new reality! Plus, we produce whole animals and we must market the whole animal. By pricing the higher end cuts appropriately, we all can eat great clean beef during this time of high prices.

We will be working hard to help you make the most of our lower end cuts- from recipes, special sales and promotions and tastings at markets! We really know how to make the most of all our cuts and we're happy to share our ideas and love of those great under-appreciated cuts!!!!

We'll marinade a great chuck steak for dinner!!

Peace and great eating!

Hope to see you at the markets starting 6/16 in Waltham!