California legislation could make pork prices higher nationwide, what it could mean for your summer bbq

California legislation could make pork prices higher nationwide, what it could mean for your summer bbq
Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 7:42 PM MST|Updated: Jun. 1, 2023 at 8:27 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - The Supreme Court backed a California animal cruelty law requiring more space for breeding pigs, and the pork industry is preparing for the impact nationwide.

Brett Sippy, Head Butcher at Davison Meats on Ina Road, said it could make your summer barbeque a lot more expensive.

“It’s just going to be more space for the animals essentially what we’re talking about. 24-cubic-feet they’re talking about. It sounds pretty reasonable to me,” said Sippy.

Reasonable for the animals at least, but when it comes to the pork industry as a whole, the word “reasonable” could be a little far-fetched.

“It’s going to result in a higher operating cost for the pork producers in the Midwest, initially for maybe the first three to five years until it becomes more implemented,” said Sippy. “There will be some costs associated with that are going to have to be passed down through the supply chain, ultimately to the consumer.”

Davison Meats has not been impacted quite yet.

They’re expecting an increase within the next few months of about $.50 to $.75 cents per pound for wholesale. Sippy said that could mean about $1.00 more per pound for you at home.

“Our position is that it’s worth it,” said Sippy.

A statement from PETA’s president says in part:

“PETA commends the Supreme Court for blocking the meat industry’s greedy attempt to deny mother pigs, hens, and calves a miserly few inches more space in enclosures that still prevent them from taking barely a single step—but we also stress that this ruling does nothing to end the extreme cruelty inherent in today’s factory-farming and slaughter industry.”

If you’re wondering when this ruling will impact you, Sippy said it will hit smaller businesses and restaurants first.

“You have your all-natural pork, like what we handle, that’s not injected. That’s what high-end markets like us use and a lot of chefs. That will be impacted first,” said Sippy. “If they’re pumping the pork with a solution that adds a little weight to it, they have a little leeway. The grocery stores will be the last to increase their pork prices.”

So how can you prepare? Butchers recommend buying pork in bulk and storing it in the freezer.

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