Beef prices are surging, but processors are benefiting more than farmers
September 20, 2021
An antique hook-and-pulley system still hangs from the ceiling of the butcher shop at Everett's Foods in south Minneapolis, the relic of a bygone era when sides of beef from Minnesota farmers were shipped directly to the store and cut up for customers.
Today, all the beef that Everett's buys is processed in Omaha. Like many industries, beef processing over decades has been reshaped by scale and specialization to bring consumers more products at lower prices. And it's cheaper for Everett's and most groceries to sell beef from the global supply chain than from farmers down the road.
"We'd like to be able to buy from local producers, but it's not cost-effective," said Evan Pregler, the meat buyer at the family-run store.