Traverse City Grocery Store Says They Are Not Impacted by Meat Shortage

American’s could see a shortage of pork, chicken and beef on shelves after major packaging plants in the U.S. closed due to outbreaks.

Some major companies like Tyson foods were considering keeping only 20% of their facilities open. But President Trump signed an executive order that declared meat processing plants as part of the critical infrastructure in the U.S., compelling them to continue production.

According to data from the US Department of Agriculture, the amount of frozen pork in storage dropped 4% from March to April.

“We’re seeing a lot of loss is what we’re seeing,” says Mary Kelpinski, C.E.O, of the Michigan Pork Producers Association. “Right now, we’re estimating that the pork producers are going to lose at least $5 million in revenue because of the situations that’s going on.”

The impact has farmers stockpiling animals unable to sell, while consumers have less options on the shelves.

“You should be able to find pork,” says Kelpinski. “Some of the cuts might be limited, there may not be as ample of a supply as there has been in the past, but there is plenty of pigs, there is plenty of pork, it’s just trying to get it through the processing component.”

However, locally owned stores like Burritts Fresh Markets in Traverse City say they have a full supply.

General Manager Jake Kaberle says, “We are able to keep up with demand fairly well. We work with smaller scale, large producers that produce a little higher quality and we get much more frequent deliveries.”

Kaberle says small grocery stores like theirs have a lot of the products that are hard to find right now in big box stores:

“I’m getting fresh fish deliveries every day: fresh beef, fresh chicken, fresh pork every single day. I’m getting large amounts of produce few times a week. So for all intents and purposes, we are fully stocked and here to serve.”

As more people are going to the grocery store to fill up their freezers, Kelpinski says it’s important to use what you may already have.

“Hopefully we’ll all get through this COVID-19 epidemic and be better off on the other side.”

Categories: Coronavirus