Thursday, December 06 2012
Many ask me why locally sourced proteins cost more than product shipped in from out of state, maybe even half way across the country. It's a good question and there are good answers. Let's consider locally sourced beef. Instead of a whole truck load of cattle (50 hd), I only need 5 head per week to cover the needs of my local program. So now I have to truck 5 head of live cattle to the slaughter plant, then transport the meat to a further processor to be cut up and ground. Freight of less than a load (LTL Freight) costs four times as much per pound as full loads. So instead of spending .08 on freight trucking in a full load of cattle from say 3 states away, my local LTL freight is .33/lb. Not only that, but when local programs exist we want to see the producer (rancher) make an honest, sustainable living. We don't want to put the poor rancher out of business by saying, "We'll the big guys prices this week are so and so." That doesn't matter. The big packers are producing huge volumes, selling on market pricing, and have the aforementioned economies of scale. So if you want price, buy from the big companies. If you want local, expect to pay more.